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May 14, 2010 > Rowell Ranch Rodeo - Ninety years and counting

Rowell Ranch Rodeo - Ninety years and counting

By Suzanne Ortt
Photos By William Mancebo

Ready for a Wild West adventure! Join up with many at the annual Rowell Ranch Rodeo this weekend. The festivity opens with a rider galloping off Harry Rowell's hills carrying the American flag. The weekend schedule includes typical rodeo events, team roping, bull riding, and much more.

Harry Rowell moved to the Bay Area in 1912. A penniless Englishman, he was 21 years old. One early job was driving a tallow wagon picking up animal carcasses. In time, he moved on to running a saddlery (now world famous and still in business). While promoting rodeos in the West, Rowell became known as the Rodeo King of the West. A biography of Harry Rowell, Here's A Go! written by Victoria Carlyle Weilan and William A. Strobel gives more captivating details.

The first rodeo in 1921, billed as the Cowboy Show, was at Burbank Elementary School in Hayward. His fascination with rodeos prompted Rowell to hold the rodeo at his Dublin Canyon Ranch; still the traditional Rowell Ranch Rodeo site. Rowell saw rodeo shows as a true American sport. The Rowell family, in the late 1970's, sold the rodeo grounds to Hayward Area Recreation Department (HARD). Currently HARD operates the Rowell Ranch Rodeo.

The 2010 Miss Rowell Ranch Rodeo Queen has been chosen. She is Bridgette Trahan. Trahan describes herself as an "All-American Cowgirl." A community college student, she enthusiastically performs in barrel racing, cattle sorting, team penning, and trail riding. As part of the Mokelumne Mounties Drill Team, Trahan travels with her horse Lucy all over the state.

Related rodeo activities are a BBQ and Dance Saturday, 5 p.m., and Cowboy Church on Sunday, 9:30 a.m. Also, on Sunday a challenge is put forth: be brave and wear pink to support the fight against breast cancer. A portion of the proceeds go to local hospitals.

Become a spectator of a true American sport and relish the fun of a rodeo show. All rodeo fans or "wannabes" will have a "rip-roaring" good time.

Rowell Ranch Rodeo Events:
9275 Dublin Canyon Road, Hayward
Friday, May 14
Gates open 5 p.m.
PRCA Bull Riding 7 p.m.
Rock'n'Bull Bash Dance

Saturday. and Sunday, May 15 - 16
Gates open 10 a.m.
PRCA Rodeo
Cowboy Experience 12 noon.
Grand Entry 1:30p.m.

9275 Dublin Canyon Road, Hayward
Tickets $12- $25
Call 510/581-2577

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