Carole and Jim Linenbach, the 110th annual Clovis Rodeo Grand Marshals

2024 Clovis Rodeo Grand Marshals, Carole and Jim Linenbach (Photo from Clovis Rodeo website)

April 25, 2024 – One of the many annual Clovis Rodeo traditions is giving the highest honor of Grand Marshal to a person or two who have spent their lives volunteering their time and hard work with the rodeo, and the wider community.

The 110th Annual Clovis Rodeo Grand Marshals are Carole and Jim Linenbach, a couple who have been so generous with their time in support of everyone from high school football to the local hospitals, the historical society, and beyond.

“We’ve volunteered with all of these people here. So many people that are worthy of this, because we’ve volunteered with them, at the hospital, through the Kiwanis,” Carole Linenbach says, “We just want to represent them.”

“There’s a lot of people that might have deserved it, much more than we have,” says Jim Linenbach, “A lot of people who are very generous with their time.”

Jim Linenbach wasn’t born in Clovis, but he remembers how important the yearly tradition of the rodeo was to him early on. “I’m a transplant,” he says, “I came here from Sanger when I was 8. It was a yearly thing that was something new to me, and it was neat to have that tradition year after year.”

“Your friends and family gathered and came to the rodeo,” Carole Linenbach says, “When we were little it was only two days and, man, we looked forward to those two days.”

The Linenbachs have volunteered with the Clovis rodeo to do all kinds of behind the scenes work. During his five years as a Director of the Rodeo Association, Jim Linenbach had his hand in the rodeo dance, sponsors, and security.

For the last several years the Linenbachs have teamed up with the Clovis High football team to get rodeo sponsors in through their special entrance gates and to their seats comfortably.

“We man all of the special sponsor gates between the Clovis Rodeo Hall and the ticket office, and we take tickets and we band them so [the sponsors] can go to the suites,” Carole Linenbach explained.

Former Clovis High football coach Rich Hammond started the program, offering his players as volunteers to help take tickets and keep things organized, and now Coach Wilkins and his staff continue the program.

“We thank them, [the football players] and their coaches,” say Jim and Carole.

The Linenbach’s usual spot during the Clovis Rodeo Parade is in front of the former Linenbach Auto Parts store, now NAPA Auto Parts, holding up signs for everybody and anybody they know.

They take care to make signs for all of the school marching bands, and all the football teams, and anybody else they know will be in the parade. “The [Clovis High] football players are our helpers, so of course we hold up signs for them,” Carole Linenbach says.

Traditionally, the rodeo Grand Marshal rides a horse to lead the parade, but this year the Linenbachs will be riding their horse of a different color; a bright red 1964 Mustang.

Carole Linenbach says that the car was bought as a high school graduation gift from her parents, from the Wayne Rall Ford dealership on Clovis Avenue, which was where the entrance to the rodeo grounds is now.

In the 1994 rodeo parade, precisely thirty years ago, Carole Linenbach drove Grand Marshal Rex Phebus in the same red Mustang.

“When [Rex] was getting ready to be Grand Marshal [someone] said, ‘Oh are you gonna ride a horse Rex?’ and he said ‘I don’t know’ and we said ‘We have a Mustang you can ride!’”, Carole Linenbach shared.

“So many people have been so nice and kind and thoughtful and made this such an unbelievable experience.”

The Linenbachs want to thank the Clovis Rodeo Association and its board of directors for the honor of being the 110th annual Clovis Rodeo Grand Marshals.

Keep an eye out if you can, because after they finish leading the parade you might find our Grand Marshals in their usual parade spot, with their signs.