Christensen Brothers Rodeo
Class of 2019
CB Rodeo was born on the Eugene, OR ranch in the late 1920's by Molly and Lawrence (Pops) Christensen, some of the first pioneers to settle in the Willamette Valley. Molly started raising and selling turkeys and their eggs as well as milk and cream from their dairy cows and Pops sold split wood; anything to finance their feeder calf operation and buy the land they needed to fulfill their dream. They also opened a butcher shop in downtown Eugene where Henry (Hank) cut meat. Their sons Henry and Bob Sr. and daughter Martha (Babe) worked side by side to start the rodeo at the ranch.
Bob Sr. and Bill Markley I, a Texas bulldogger and rodeo clown who married Babe, ran strings of packhorses to Forest Service lookouts in the Cascades. Bob Sr. and Bill also ran a trap line for extra money. The four of them invited people from Eugene out to the ranch to ride rough stock. When adults started showing up to watch, the boys and Babe decided to charge a dime a head. What started at the ranch led to an invite to put on their first rodeo at Crawfordsville. Because they didn't have any vehicles to haul the livestock they drove them the 44 miles on horseback. Over the years, the rodeo company grew to over 60 some rodeo contracts.
While Henry and Bob Sr. travelled and produced rodeos Bill and Babe stayed home most of the time with Molly to run the ranch. Pops had passed from an accident. They hayed, took care of the cattle and sheep. The Christensen and Markley children helped out when they weren't in school. Billy and Gary Markley worked on the ranch and occasionally at rodeos. Linda was a rodeo secretary, timer, barrel racer, and trick rider. Bobby Jr. rode Bareback horses, drove the stock trucks and was a pickup man alongside his Dad. A few years later Linda's sister Sherri and Bobby Jr's sister Vicki were born. They both grew up to work on the ranch and rodeos. They were trick riders and took care of the pick-up horses. Vicki was also Miss Rodeo Oregon. Henry loved to have parties at the ranch and invite his cowboy friends from Hollywood as well like Slim Pickens, Roy Rogers, Casey Tibbs, Edgar Buchanan, and Rex Allen. His wife Pat was the chef cooking everything from scratch. Everyone knew there would be beef from the ranch, lots of freshly caught seafood from their boat and her famous Shrimp Salad molded in the shape of a fish. Before they knew it Molly's great-grandchildren and Henry and Bob Sr.'s grandchildren were working on the ranches at the rodeos. Linda's daughters Anna and Amy, and Bobby Jr.'s daughters Michelle and Becky carried the American Flag CB Flag, chased cattle out of the arenas and sol programs. Christensen Brothers was in business for 50 years and supplied stock for the NFR for every year since the NFR's inception. A lot of their stock was honored as Best Bucking Stock of The Year at the NFR for multiple years. They were the largest rodeo stock contractors in the Northwest at one point in time.