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Rodeos Celebrating 100 Years in 2010

Updated on July 14, 2011
A picture from an Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo (CFD celebrated their 100th year in 1996!)
A picture from an Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo (CFD celebrated their 100th year in 1996!)

The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) was started in 1936. But that wasn't the beginning of rodeo. The first rodeo is credited to an argument between two neighboring ranches in 1869. The Cowboys were arguing over who performed the ranching tasks better and the rest is history.

In 2010, two significant rodeos are celebrating 100 years of competition. These rodeos are the Pendleton Roundup in Pendleton, Oregon and The California Rodeo in Salinas, California. This article will recognize the last 100 years of both of these rodeos.

The California Rodeo

Salinas, California is the home of The California Rodeo. (In California they call it Ro-Day-O, when we get to Pendleton next it'll be back to plain old rodeo.)

The California Rodeo started as a Wild West Show. They started having exhibitions of bucking horses which led to a full rodeo performance.The founder of the rodeo was "Red" Cornett, he wanted to call it "Big Week". The week of festivities included the rodeo, carnivals, parades, and races. Frank Griffin then called it "The California Rodeo".

The California Rodeo in Salinas is the largest rodeo in California. The dates celebrating their 100th year while be July 15-18, 2010. They have a Heritage Museum that is open during the rodeo, but this year they will also be starting their own Hall of Fame.

The Pendleton Roundup

Pendleton, Oregon held their first rodeo September 29, 2010 for a large crowd of 7000 people. (We're back in Oregon now, so it is ro-dee-o.) Pendleton held their first round-up as a way of creating income for their town. Before the round up started their major income was from the 4th of July celebration. They realized all of the towns around were holding 4th of July celebrations and they wanted a celebration unique to their town. The Pendleton Roundup was born.

The Pendleton Roundup and Happy Canyon Pageant will be held this year September 11-18, 2010.

Two rodeos celebrating 100 years. Salinas, California and Pendleton, Oregon. One may call it ro-day-o and one ro-dee-o. That's not the only difference. They both started around the same time, but both of these rodeos started for different reasons. What they have in common is they were built by one of the most important words that holds the rodeo world together---tradition.


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    • rocknrodeogirl profile image

      rocknrodeogirl 8 years ago from The Columbia Gorge

      Ghost, I love hearing old rodeo stories!! I'm sorry that you didn't make it to Pendleton, but sounds like the Rodeo Queen made up for it all! ;) I'm hoping to get my horse running and compete in Pendleton before they decide to pull the barrel racing again. We'll see...

    • profile image

      Ghost32 8 years ago

      Back in my pro rodeo days, when it was still the RCA instead of the PRCA, I somehow never made it to any of the really big rodeos. A crack bronc rider and close friend, Ross Loney, offered to carry me to Calgary once. We were contesting at Havre, Montana, and he was heading north from there, but I got terribly sick and had to go hole up for nearly two weeks. Missed that one, in 1963.

      Then later that same year, I almost--but again, not quite--made it to Pendleton. I'd entered the bull riding at Lewiston, Idaho, and made myself a promise: If I did well at Lewiston, I'd head on to Pendleton. If not, I'd head north to a bull riding school being put on by Canadian Bull Riding Champion Lawrence Hutchinson.

      I bucked off, plowed the arena with my chin, and found a small rock that left a scar which bled every time I shaved for the next 40 years. So I went to the school, not to Pendleton.

      However, the Lewiston experience wasn't all bad. At the rodeo dance, there was a stunning little Rodeo Queen contestant from Washington state. Hutch (the Champ) and I both danced with her, both hoping to take her out after the dance...and I won THAT go-round.

      But I never did make it to Pendleton!

    • rocknrodeogirl profile image

      rocknrodeogirl 8 years ago from The Columbia Gorge

      Oh, c'mon...road trip across the United States!! ;) Thanks for the comment!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 8 years ago from United States

      I would love to come and see the rodeo. Unfortunately I live on the other side of the US and that would be quite a trip but it sure looks fun. Good hub.