The last of the stakes are being nailed in for the Ram Turquoise Circuit Finals.
Dan Fowlie has been announcing rodeos like this one for the last 25 years.
He says it never ceases to amaze him the kind of talent that rides through here.
"Like right here in New Mexico…it’s a hard goal to come by.”
The riders have been working all year for a place at this rodeo – the Turquoise Circuit Finals. Sixteen winners will advance to Oklahoma City -- where the payout can be in the hundreds of thousands.
The riders in a rodeo like this are your everyday-working cowboys.
"It allows these young folks to compete for a national championship while still maintaining things close to home.”
Randy Christman who works for Ram Rodeo wants to set the record straight for any naysayers – cowboys do still exist.
“Oh they’re cowboys…lot of them have ranches...lot of them come here.”
The event is a boost for local businesses. The Ram Truck brand sponsors this rodeo and promotes local car dealers. Vincent Armijo is the general manager of Lithia Dodge RAM in Las Cruces.
“My family’s from New Mexico and rodeo’s always been in our blood…we didn’t get basketball. We got rodeo.”
He moved most recently from Denver. He says he likes the speed of life here.
“It’s a slower pace. It’s more family-oriented…never really had time.”
Obviously an important component…is the animals that are here. One’s like the bull here aren’t just any old animal – this one might have fetched upwards of $100,000.
Other animals are trained for grace instead of strength.
Lily Woodall, this year's rodeo queen, is getting her horse, Hot Shot, ready for center stage.
“I love running the flags. It’s one of the best parts of being queen,” said Woodall.
Take it from someone who’s seen a lot of these rodeos…
“I’ve been announcing for 25 years…these are the cream of the crop,” said Fowlie.