Prescott native JC Trujillo was born at Prescott Community Hospital, now Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC). He was just six years old when his father signed him up for the Yavapai Mounted Sheriff’s Posse Junior Rodeo.
“I hung on to the side of that calf and ended up winning second place,” Trujillo said. “I won $10.80 and didn’t think I would see another poor day.”
Trujillo grew into a football and track star at Prescott High School. He attended Arizona State University (ASU) on a rodeo scholarship where he participated in the rodeo team and the won the 1968 intercollegiate bareback riding championship.
Trujillo earned an elementary education degree from ASU, but his calling was the rodeo. For 13 years he traveled the country on the rodeo circuit, winning the Bareback World Championship. In 1994, Trujillo was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame.
When he “retired,” Trujillo settled in Colorado and combined his love of rodeo and skiing into the Cowboy Downhill in Steamboat Springs.
But Prescott came calling and in 2004 he returned to his hometown as General Manager of Prescott Frontier Days, Inc., the World’s Oldest Rodeo.
“It was a giant circle that I made,” said Trujillo. “I left as a college kid and after a really great and rewarding Hall of Fame career, to be able to come back to Prescott was very gratifying.”
Prescott changed while Trujillo was riding the rodeo circuit. One of the major changes was the expansion of YRMC, which Trujillo visited frequently during his days competing in the rodeo.
“Here in Prescott, we have all of the specialists and we don’t have to go to Phoenix,” he said. “It’s great to know we have this quality of hospital and quality of medical care.”
Trujillo believes in celebrating community milestones. In fact, the World’s Oldest Rodeo turned 130 in 2017
“Prescott has an impressive 150-year history.” And a bright future, thanks to residents like Trujillo.