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thesaurus.comRodeo occupies an unique position in modern-day sports, having established from an American culture that is rapidly changing. Rodeo is a window into the past while at the same time provides a distinct and fully contemporary sport with an interesting and fascinating environment. Learn more about the history of rodeo through the early years of its advancement.

The Spanish cattlemen, known as vaqueros, would affect the American cowboy with their clothing, language, traditions, and equipment which would in turn affect the modern sport of rodeo. Responsibilities on these early ranches included roping, horse breaking, riding, rounding up, branding, and far more. These activities remain the same today on modern cattle ranches all-be-it with modern approaches and equipment. James McGlinchey, on a bay horse was bring another flag. At a given signal, the horses raced down the hill - the white horse in the lead. At the foot of the hill, numerous other horses followed the very first two into the arena forming a colorful grand entry. Much of the stock came from local ranches, but some was brought in from other locations.

F. Madsen, proprietor of the Bell Theater, Universal Studios shot the occasion. The newsreel was revealed throughout the nation - Livermore was on the map! The success of the first rodeo led to the formation of the Livermore Stockmen's Rodeo Association in April 1919. The association selected 15 acres of the Callaghan vineyard on Lizzie Street (now Livermore Avenue) and offered stock or script for $25 a share to purchase the land.

Building of the center area of the grandstand and some bleachers, which together held 2,400 seats, were completed for the second rodeo, which was held on July 3rd, fourth and fifth, 1919, resources an was explained by the Livermore Herald as "the most successful rodeo ever kept in the west." In early years, the show was always hung on the 4th of July plus the weekend immediately following or preceding the fourth - thus the show ranged from two to 5 days.

Those with the best singing chords were "Foghorn" Murphy and later on Ike Latimer followed by Abe Lofton. From 1930-1965 with a P. A. System and sometimes on horseback, came Livermore's own Bud Bentley. Expert announcers were hired from then to now. During the early years there were numerous local riders.

All were seen on film newsreels. Those in charge worked hard and provided generously to insure the success of the show and the fulfillment of the viewers and the individuals too. John McGlinchey would send 2 header wagons out to the Mourterot Ranch and buy hay so that the many cowboys that stayed at his house would have feed for their horses.

The Spanish influence was highlighted in these early rodeos. In reality, "old timers" still say "Ro-day-oh" while others pronounce it as Ro-dee-oh. The program was well marketed, and individuals dressed in either Spanish or western clothes. Trips to Oakland and San Francisco were prepared. Groups would parade down the streets in outfit bring indications announcing the date's of the rodeo.

As Soon As the Oakland Auditorium was utilized as a hospitality home and "mini" rodeo museum. Rooms there were embellished and staffed with people serving drinks to all who attended. Rodeo time was "Huge Time" in Livermore; everyone was getting involved in some method. The local merchants were glad to have the influx of people and dressed "western" weeks preceding the show.

Barnard Mouterot keeps in mind going out to the Ruby Hill Winery to cut palm fronds to decorate the light poles on First Street. Banners were strung throughout First and Second Streets, and on Lizzie Street out of the rodeo grounds. Numerous shop fronts had rodeo scenes painted on their windows and stores were decorated.

Weeks previously, the males in town started growing beards for the "Whiskerino Contest." High school students were a vital part of marketing. Professional photographers from the Oakland Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco Examiner would take images of the girls in western or Spanish clothes. These pictures were used for promotion functions.

Their "pay" was complimentary admission. High school young boys positioned marketing posters along the highways from Livermore to Stockton and to San Francisco, and on the Dunbarton and Antioch bridges. Rodeo Week was also "Carnival Time" in Livermore. In the early years, the carnival was held on J and K Streets along with on Second Street.

Vacant lots and south of Second Street were utilized for trips. Later the carnival moved north of First Street and south of Railway Avenue. Street dances were held in the evening on J Street between First and Second. On one event, there was a dance at Sweeney Ballroom. Including to the revelry, the "Hoosegow" or jail on wheels would travel First Street daily looking for anyone not wearing some type of western or Spanish clothes.

In addition to this "Big" Parade, there was also a horse parade at 12 or 1 o'clock each day of the program. The horses paraded east on First Street, turned south on Lizzie Street (Livermore Ave.) and headed out to the Rodeo premises, where they got in and participated in the Grand Entry.

May 1, 1921, marked the very first time that the rodeo grounds were used for a community event other than a rodeo, when a Might Day Fete was held for all the schools in the Livermore-Amador Valley. A California Frontier Days Pageant belonged to the home entertainment at the 1921 Livermore Rodeo.

For example, in the mid 1930's all of the rural schools in South Alameda County gathered at the grounds for an athletics "playday." As the Rodeo showed to be a monetary success, land acquisitions and enhancements continued. To find more information about deer Trail park stop by our own web site. More seating was set up and all grandstands were covered. More chutes and holding pens were developed.

It is still being utilized for neighborhood events. In 1948 the Association's holdings had grown to 40.5 acres. The well earned motto "World's Fastest Rodeo" was initially used in 1935. Speed had always been a crucial element. There was a track around the arena where numerous events were held. This included cowboy and cowgirl races, relay races where cowboys or cowgirls altered horses at each station, and Pony Express races, where saddles as well as horses were changed.