Sold-out crowd honors retiring Undersheriff Jim Voge, after 50 years of law enforcement service

PASO ROBLES — The stands were again packed to watch their favorite cowboys and cowgirls compete in the third annual San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Rodeo on Saturday, May 11. Held in the Grandstand Arena at the Paso Robles Event Center, the rodeo was followed by a concert performance by Stone Country Records singer-songwriter Annie Bosko.

The sold-out crowd was an excited one as the rodeo again expanded its activities. New this year was the Fan Zone, with vendors and a mechanical bull, autograph sessions, and expanded variety of food and beverage vendors. 

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A bull rider tries to stay on his mount during the SLO County Sheriff’s Rodeo on Saturday, May 11, at the Paso Robles Event Center. Photos by Chuck and Vikki Houck

Rodeo events again included the fan favorite of bull riding, which saw PBR National Finals bull rider Aaron Williams ride 8 seconds in the arena, winning the full $6,000 cash prize. Other events held at the rodeo were team roping, barrel racing, steer wrestling, breakaway roping, and team sorting. All competitors had to compete in a qualifying event leading up to the rodeo, except for the bull riders and steer wrestlers. 


Rodeo President Commander Chad Nicholson told Paso Robles Press that they saw a big turnout for their qualifiers and over 100 contestants in the finals Saturday night. 

“People really like it and I’ve gotten just phenomenal feedback from all, not just attendees of the rodeo to their fans, but from contestants,” said Nicholson.

Contestants came from all over the state but SLO County is no stranger to the sport of rodeo and has several athletes who have made the National Rodeo Finals (NFR) several times in numerous events. 

“We have a lot of very talented rodeo athletes around this area,” added Nicholson.

Rodeo final winners were:


  • Madilyn Fisher 
  • Bryadee Bourdet 
  • Samantha Hand 

#10 Roping: 

  • Justin Rhoades / Will Centoni 

Team Sorting: 

  • Ali Bilkey / Marcey Chavez / Cash Filliponi 

Sort and Rope:

  • Ali Bilkey / John Chavez
  • Clay Simons / Jeremy Pinhero 

Open Team Roping:

  • Cayden Cox / Chase Grantham 


  • Dakota Rodriguez 
  • Stella Lawhorn 
  • Lindsey Stornetta 
  • Carly Rudd 

Bull Riding: 

  • Aaron Williams 

Steer Wrestling: 

  • James Banister
  • Edgar Machado
  • Bear Pascoe

The ethos behind the rodeo has been to create an affordable family-friendly event while also supporting local law enforcement. To stay true to that, the rodeo committee has kept the tickets at $10 for adults and kids remain free to attend the rodeo.

“We’re adamant about producing a family event that brings the community together,” Nicholson explains. “And at the end of the day, we want families to be out there with their kids celebrating law enforcement, the Western way of life, and the sport of rodeo.”

In turn, Nicholson says the rodeo has seen a great amount of community support; from a great number of sponsors to sellout crowds, the event has seen a lot of positive feedback from contestants and attendees.

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SLO County Sheriff’s Rodeo competitors take part in the rawhide drag event Saturday, May 11, at the Paso Robles Event Center. Photos by Chuck and Vikki Houck

“I noticed it the other night during Annie’s [Bosko] concert, watching the amount of families that are there, and they go down on the arena floor, and the moms and dads just dancing with their kids and twirling them around. It is the best feeling and the best sight of anything that I’ve seen,” said Nicholson.

A tradition carried over from previous years is that someone is always recognized during the rodeo. 

Undersheriff Jim Voge, retiring this August after a 50-year tenure in law enforcement, leaves behind a legacy of dedication and service. Voge was recognized at the rodeo for his decades of service in law enforcement and the impact he has made in SLO County.

“He’s probably been my largest mentor in the industry of law enforcement,” Nicholson said of Voge. “He taught me the importance of accountability and transparency and treating people properly and with respect and holding people accountable.”

Joining the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in 1970 as a student worker, Voge rose through the ranks, serving in various divisions, including patrol, internal affairs, vice, narcotics, and detectives. Notably, he established the Force Investigation Division in 2004. His career highlights include meeting his wife, Ramona, within the force and raising their son, Jimmy, who continues the family’s law enforcement tradition as an Orange County Deputy District Attorney. 

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A barrel racer makes her run during the third annual SLO County Sheriff’s Rodeo on Saturday, May 11. Photos by Chuck and Vikki Houck

After retiring as a commander in 2007, he played a pivotal role in establishing the Professional Standards and Training Unit for the Sheriff’s Office, becoming undersheriff in 2018. Voge expresses pride in his colleagues and gratitude to Sheriff Ian Parkinson for the opportunity to serve. 

Proceeds from the rodeo will support the Sheriff’s Advisory Foundation, a nonprofit that works to purchase equipment for all law enforcement agencies in the county.

To stay up to date on next year’s rodeo, visit

Feature Image: An American flag is carried through the arena during the grand entry for the third annual SLO Sheriff’s Rodeo on Saturday, May 11. Photos by Chuck and Vikki Houck