Thirty-seven river boat drivers competed Monday evening in the ninth annual Rio Rodeo Challenge along the San Antonio River.
“They have an obstacle course, there's a slalom, there’s a 360-degree turn that they have to make without touching the dock in any way,” said Joanne Boone, president and CEO of Rio San Antonio Cruises.
There was a total of five timed challenges along the river and one timed quiz about River Walk facts.
A cash prize and winner's belt buckle were on the line.
And for all but one of the competitors had the same goal: to beat the reigning champ, Alex Alonso, who won the Rio Rodeo in 2006, 2008-2011, and 2013.
But Alonso did it again winning this year’s competition.
River barge drivers started the Rio Rodeo in 2006 as a way to celebrate Old Man Winter setting sail.
"They were just always so happy to see some normal weather hit that they started getting excited and frisky," said Boone. “So they started showing their skills and we made them into actual events.”
"I think everybody just likes to have the bragging rights because we get to talk about it for an entire year and say that we are the very best,” said river barge driver, Merium Valdez.
The competition lasted from 7-11 p.m. Monday.