Cresta Dead at 25

By September 19, 2012
Broc Cresta portrait

Broc Cresta was a rising star in the world of rodeo. (Photo by Kerri Allardyce/PRCA)

California has lost one of its brightest rodeo stars, Broc Cresta, who was found dead on July 28 in his mobile home at the Frontier Days Rodeo in Cheyenne, WY. Cresta, who was only 25, was a two-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo contender in the team roping category.

Cresta’s cause of death was subsequently ruled accidental, resulting from a lethal combination of alcohol and pain pills. A September autopsy report listed the cause of death as central nervous system suppression from oxycodone and ethanol intoxication.

“The whole rodeo world is in shock,” Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association director of communications Kendra Santos said as news of the young star’s untimely death broke. “Broc’s a fourth-generation cowboy in California, and everybody loves him. It’s hard enough to lose a good cowboy when he’s 90, but losing such a talented and genuinely good person at 25 is just about impossible. Our hearts are with Broc’s family and friends. The entire rodeo family hurts right now.”

“My brother’s death was a tragic accident,” his younger brother, Brent, said in a statement. “Broc took his own prescription pain medication and combined it with alcohol and a climate he wasn’t used to it caused the perfect storm. He went to sleep and never woke up.”

Cresta grew up in Sonoma County and attended Santa Rosa High School, where he roped back-to-back state high school championships in 2003 and 2004 with Mitchell, who attended Williams High. He most recently made his home in Petluma, CA.

He was the 2007 PRCA/Resistol Rookie Heeler of the Year. He teamed with reigning World Champion header Turtle Powell at the 2010 NFR and placed in five of 10 rounds. Last year Cresta heeled for boyhood buddy Spencer Mitchell of Colusa, CA, and after placing in three rounds the lifelong team saved their best for last by sharing the 3.6-second round-10 win with Chad Masters and Jade Corkill.

Team ropers Broc Cresta and Spencer Mitchell in action.

Broc Cresta, left, and Spencer Mitchell (Photo by Dan Hubbell/PRCA)

Cresta was ranked 12th in the world team roping heeling standings at the time of his death. Among his many career highlights was the win at the Daddy of ’em All in Cheyenne with Logan Olson in 2008.

“The world of professional rodeo lost a talented young cowboy and a fine young man the day Broc Cresta died,” PRCA commissioner Karl Stressman said in a statement. “He left an impressive mark in his quarter century on this Earth, and he will not be forgotten.”

Cresta grew up around horses and began riding at a very young age. “Our first pair of shoes weren’t shoes, they were boots,” Brent Cresta, told the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. “It was just a way of life. There are people that drive race cars, people who play football. We rode horses and we roped and that’s all we ever knew.”

Services were held Aug. 3 at the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa, Calif.

In lieu of flowers, the family of Broc Cresta requested donations be made to the Broc Cresta Memorial Fund, Sonoma County Grange Credit Union, 304 Sutton Place, Santa Rosa, CA 95407.

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