Earl “Bud” Batteate got the rodeo bug when he was just 7 years old and rode his first calf, which means he has just about 92 years of experience in being a cowboy. Batteate turns 99 years old in August, and he’s still living the cowboy way of life at his home in Cherryland. Pictures of his younger days line the walls – there’s a good photo of him in his 30s with his wife Patricia sitting on his lap and a bottle of booze and a pistol in either hand. His family calls him a living legend. Batteate was born in San Leandro and grew up in the East Bay. Asked if his neighborhood has changed much over the years, Bud is no-nonsense. “I suppose it has, but I never paid much attention to that sort of thing,” he said.
The Batteate family made their living in the cattle business and had two cattle ranches. After settling down with his wife at the age of 18, Batteate went to work hauling cattle, with time for bull riding, bareback riding and bronc riding on the weekends. And, Batteate still gets on a horse when he gets a chance. In May, he was a celebrity rider at the Rowell Ranch Rodeo cattle sorting competition. Two years ago, he took second place in the event, and this year his son, Mike, was on the team that took first place. Business and rodeo events took him all over the west – Oregon, Idaho, Washington, Montana and Canada. A lot of the family is still in the “cowboy” line of work. His son, Nick, is a cattle rancher in San Ramon and a slew of other Batteates are in the business in Livermore, Turlock and beyond. More than one Batteate is on the Rowell Ranch Rodeo advisory board.
The Batteate family will also be helping with a special event later this month at Rowell Ranch Park – the National Day of the Cowboy will be celebrated on the weekend of July 22 and 23. The Rowell Ranch Rodeo Park will be open for the free event and the public is invited to come watch local cowboys shoe horses, build saddles, rope
cattle and more. Visit rowellranchrodeo.com for more
information. Source >