On the Job

By: Ruth Nicolaus

Red Bluff native is volunteer for Round-Up, winner of 2022 honor

Ryan Sale (on the left) receives a buckle from Rod Moore for winning the Red Bluff Round-Up 2022 Top Hand Award. Photo courtesy Red Bluff Round-Up.

Red Bluff, Calif. – Every year, during the third weekend in April, Ryan Sale takes on an extra job.

It’s not a paid job, but it’s a job he loves, nonetheless.

The Red Bluff native spends the week at the Round-Up, volunteering.

He grew up attending the Round-Up with his family, and about 25 years ago, became a volunteer.

Sale has helped with the rodeo’s website and with digitalizing the Round-Up’s books, years ago. He’s helped with technology, making sure the internet is available on site.

About twenty years ago, he became the vendor coordinator. After vendor applications have been submitted, he makes maps of the vendor area and uses paint dots to mark where vendors will set up. He helps with move-in and set-up, and makes sure vendors have what they need to sell their product.

The Round-Up hosts about 50 vendors a year, from a variety of food vendors (pulled pork sandwiches, shaved ice and everything in between), to clothes, jewelry, toys, hats, and souvenir vendors, among others.

Once the vendors are set up, Sale is free to help wherever else he is needed. His cell phone rings constantly, with requests for assistance, from helping repair generators to parking RVs, and more. “Wherever they need us, we go.”

Last year, Sale won the Red Bluff Round-Up’s 2022 Top Hand Award.

That night, after he received the honor, he woke up in the middle of the night. “Did I dream that?” he asked himself. “Was that just a dream or did that really happen?”

Sale served with the U.S. Army for five years, in the U.S., Germany, Iran and Northern Africa, before joining the National Guard. He’s farmed the family ranch, growing walnuts, almonds and prunes, until two years ago, when he and his wife Cindy moved to Redmond, Ore., to be closer to their six kids and 27 grandkids. The couple has been married 51 years.

Sale works with other organizations besides the Round-Up. He helps with the High Desert Stampede in Redmond and the Crooked River Roundup in Prineville, Ore., and volunteers three days a week at the Redmond High School in the wood shop.

But every April, he’s back on the job, making sure the vendors at the Round-Up are taken care of, and that his part of things goes smoothly.

This year’s Red Bluff Round-Up is April 21-23. Performances begin at 7 pm on April 21, 2:30 pm on April 22, and 1:30 pm on April 23.

Tickets are on sale online at, at the Round-Up Museum (670 Antelope Blvd., Suite 1, Red Bluff) and at the gate. They range in price from $20-$40. For more information visit the website.

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