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May 6, 2009 > 'Whoop-ee-ti-yi-o'... Rodeo coming to Hayward

'Whoop-ee-ti-yi-o'... Rodeo coming to Hayward

By Gary van den Heuvel

Rowell Ranch in Hayward will host the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA) at its 89th annual rodeo on the weekend of Saturday, May 16, and Sunday, May 17.

The rodeo, in which PRCA world championship points will be at stake, features over 350 top competitors from the United States and Canada in seven events, which include Bareback Riding, Steer Wrestling, Team Roping, Saddle Bronco Riding, Tie-Down Roping, Bull Riding and Women's Barrel Racing. Over $25,000 in prize money will be awarded.

The first rodeo dates back to 1921, when Harry Rowell put on a "Cowboy Show" for the locals at the old Burbank School in Hayward. Four years later, Rowell moved the show to his Dublin Canyon Ranch, where it has continued to this day.

Harry and his wife Maggie produced successful rodeos around the world and achieved business success with their cattle ranch. The Dublin Canyon Ranch was also home to many a cowboy, or for anyone who needed a meal and a place to stay for the night.

Rowell's motto was "Give them a thrilling, spectacular show ... and make it fast!" His talent for promotion attracted rodeo fans from around the region. Many world champion rodeo cowboys got their start at Rowell Ranch.

Harry and Maggie were posthumously inducted into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center in Oklahoma City. Harry is also in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Though the rodeo itself will take place on Saturday and Sunday (May 16 and 17), the festivities for Rodeo Week will kick off this Friday, May 8, with a 5:30 p.m. chili cook-off at Rowell Ranch. Saturday, May 9, will be a rodeo parade at 10 a.m. on Castro Valley Boulevard between Redwood Road and Lake Chabot Road.

Celebrity Team Penning will take place on Wednesday, May 13, at 4 p.m., followed by a Tri-tip barbecue at 5 p.m. with live entertainment. Friday, May 15, at 5 p.m. will feature Local Team Roping (free admission). Saturday, May 16, begins with the "Cowboy Experience," which is an inside look at the rodeo life, at noon, and at 1:30 the rodeo will begin. At 5 p.m. at the Earl Dawes Memorial Picnic Area will be a Tri-tip barbecue. And Sunday, May 17, features another "Cowboy Experience" at noon, followed by the climax of the rodeo at 1:30 p.m.

Ticket prices range from $12 to $19, and there are several deals available such as family packages and discounts for seniors and children. Parking is $7. All advance tickets can be purchased from Rowell's Saddlery, located at 3473 Castro Valley Boulevard in Castro Valley. Anyone interested in attending can contact Janet Lemmings at 510-581-2577, or e-mail

Rowell Ranch is located between Pleasanton and Hayward, on Dublin Canyon Road, off Highway 580.

Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association Rodeo
May 8-9, 13, 15-17
Rowell Ranch
Dublin Canyon Rd., Hayward
(510) 581-2577

Tickets: $12 to $19
Parking: $7

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