Sonny Borrelli was the son of a Marine and took a roundabout path to rodeo. Born in NY, moving to CA, then to TX where he spent his high school years and found his passion for the sport of rodeo. After graduating high school, he joined the Marines and spent the next 22 years in the Logistics field with assignments in Okinawa and Camp Pendleton.
He discovered military rodeo while stationed with 3rd FSG in Okinawa and joined the rodeo team competing in BB and SB. Sonny won the 1986 BB championship at the Camp Pendleton rodeo. He continued to compete while also helping to recruit members as part of the Military Rodeo Association (MRA) through 1988. When the MRA collapsed in 1988, Sonny, along with a few other cowboys started the Military Rodeo Cowboys Association (MRCA). The MRCA would hold its first World Finals Rodeo (WFR) in Borney, TX that year and continue to provide a championship event each year through 1999 under Sonny’s leadership as MRCA Commissioner.
Sonny was the creator of the championship point system that is still used in the MRCA today as well as introducing the team competition concept to help gain command support for inter-service competitions. He worked relentlessly to ensure military rodeo contestants had numerous events each year and a quality WFR to earn their chance at a world championship.
After retiring from the Marines, Sonny moved to Havasu, AZ and continued to be a part of local rodeos. He was elected to the Arizona House of Representatives and later to the Arizona State Senate.
Born: 1959 in Rochester, NY