The first Columbia Basin Rodeo was held in 1943 at the lower end of Wheeler road, adjacent to the present day Safeway. By horseback, jeep and airplane, wild horses were rounded up to use for the bareback and saddle bronc events. Horses were rounded up from as far south as the Frenchman Hills and as far west as Vantage. The last wild horse roundup was held in 1953. Since that time, the Columbia Basin Rodeo Association has relied on professional bucking stock. The current name, Moses Lake Roundup, pays homage to the origins of this great rodeo.
In 1963 the association moved into their present facility at the Grant County Fairgrounds. That same year it also changed from a two performance rodeo to a three performance rodeo. In subsequent years, the association brought well known western personalities to the rodeo such as Dan Blocker (“Hoss” from Bonanza) and Michael Landon (“Little Joe”). The Columbia Basin Rodeo Association continues to hire the best in professional rodeo entertainment.
Having surpassed 65 years of producing rodeos, the Columbia Basin Rodeo Association has enjoyed an exciting and colorful history. The members of the association have never lost faith in the worthiness of this great rodeo and continually donate hundreds of hours each year to build on the proud tradition of the Moses Lake Roundup. As a non-profit organization, the association also contributes to the community by way of donating scholarships to local high school seniors and our queen, as well as sponsoring area youth baseball and rodeo teams.
Of all the PRCA-sanctioned rodeos in the Columbia River Circuit, Moses Lake Roundup won Small Rodeo of the Year in 2011, and after increasing purse money, won Large Rodeo of the Year in 2013. This was a great honor, especially considering legendary rodeos like Ellensburg and the Pendleton Roundup were amongst the competition!