Hall of Fame Stock Contractor and Rodeo Presenter Cotton Rosser has passed away at age 93, his family announced tonight. 

"For decades Cotton Rosser has been a legend in the sport of rodeo. His name is synonymous with the great family entertainment of the Flying U, but beyond the well known exterior was a man that loved his animals, his family and entertaining generations of families and creating memories that will last them a lifetime," Rosser's Flying U Rodeo wrote on Facebook. "Cotton peacefully tipped his hat for the last time this morning, June 22, 2022. His legacy will live on through his wife Karin, children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Long live the King of the Cowboys, Cotton Rosser."

Rosser was raised in Long Beach, California and from an early age, he knew he wanted to be a cowboy. When he was a boy, he would clean stalls at local stable in exchange for a chance to ride horses. 

As an athlete, Rosser competed in steer wrestler, team roping and saddle bronc rider and rodeoed collegiately at Cal Poly University before purchasing Flying U Rodeo Company in 1956. Today, Flying U puts on 50 rodeos a year, including Reno, and is the oldest continuing rodeo livestock company in the United States. 

Rosser and Flying U have long been known for their innovation in presenting rodeo. Among the ideas introduced by Rosser were corporate sponsors, year-end winners, announcers on horseback and more.

Flying U Rodeo performances were always assured to have terrific opening ceremonies, showmanship and a fast pace. 

In 1981, Rosser's horse Classic Velvet was the PRCA Bareback Riding Horse of the Year and Buckskin Velvet was honored as the Saddle Bronc Horse of the Year the very next year. In 1985, Rosser himself was honored as the PRCA Stock Contractor of the Year. 

He was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 1995 and was named a Legend of ProRodeo in 2019. 

The Cowboy Channel will air a tribute to Cotton Rosser this evening during the Reno Rodeo, which begins at 10 PM ET. He will also be honored tomorrow night on Western Sports Round-Up.