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By Shiloh Ireland

October 12, 2023 (Poway) -- On September 23-24; Poway held its annual rodeo and celebrated the 50th Anniversary of this action- packed event. Rodeo Chairman Murray Bankhead, the rodeo’s board and many volunteers made this event a success with a large turnout, talented performers, and a family-friendly environment. ECM found smiling faces, helpful volunteers and vendors with a variety of merchandise. But, the action was in the arena, where a variety of disciplines were witnessed by a positive and cheering crowd.

Performers and athletes from across the US. and Canada engaged the audience with roping, trick riders, bulls, bucking broncos, mutton busting, barrels and more. Rodeo queens from Poway, Lakeside and Ramona were present, supporting the rodeo.

The idea of a Rodeo in Poway was started by two Poway Valley Riders Association members(PVRA), John Walker and Jack Miller. It took them several years to make all of the necessary arrangements to sponsor a sanctioned Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Rodeo in Poway. They traveled to the National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City to make contacts with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, stock contractors, specialty acts, and rodeo announcers. Through their efforts PVRA, The Lions Club, and the Poway Chamber of Commerce formed the Poway Rodeo Committee and produced the first Poway Rodeo in 1973.

Now 50 years later, the Poway Rodeo continues to feature the traditions of the Old West and Cowboy heritage while giving back to the community by financially supporting numerous charities in Poway and throughout San Diego County. The event is a natural fit with Poway, whose “City in the Country” motto describes the City’s rural and horse-friendly atmosphere despite the city’s proximity to San Diego. The Poway Rodeo is known throughout the national rodeo community as one of the best small-town rodeos, which regularly attracts some of the of the leading and most well-known cowboys and cowgirls.

The 2023 Poway Rodeo total payoff was $75, 656.

Highlights of the prize-winning rodeo performers:

Bareback Riding-Jacek Frost-77.5 points with $1, 765 in winnings.

Steer Wrestling-(tie)-Tucker Allen and Nick Guy-4.1 seconds, $1, 738 each.

Team Roping-(tie)-Derrick Begay/Colter Todd and Eric Rogers/Payden Bray 5.0 seconds, $2, 635 each.

Saddle Bronc Riding-Stu Wright-81.5 seconds, $1, 824.

Tie-Down Roping-Taylor Santos-8.2 seconds, $2, 313.

Barrel Racing-Michelle Ally, 17.16 seconds, $1, 982.

Bull Riding-TJ Gray-84 points, $2, 877.

East County Magazine appreciates the opportunity given by Murray Bankhead and the Rodeo Association to have local media highlight this historical event and experience the small town atmosphere and patriotism. We hope to see you next year for the 51 st. year performance.

Bankhead and the rodeo board were recognized by Senator Brian Jones for their achievement and the anniversary as staffer, Andrew Hayes, presented  Letters of Recognition.

Photo:  Poway Rodeo Chairman  Murray Bankhead and Poway Rodeo Board receive award presented by by Senator Brian Jones staffer  Andrew Hayes.






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