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New Owners At Coarsegold Rodeo Grounds Bustin’ Out The Gate

Rodeo 2016 Alphonso Lozano and Tanner Tweed by Kellie FlanaganCOARSEGOLD – With the 64th Annual Coarsegold Rodeo coming up, it seemed like a good idea to head over to the ranch and see what new owners Pavilion Properties, also known as the dual-generational team of Kevin and Tanner Tweed, have been up to since they purchased the 38.5 acre ranch property from Tom Bohna earlier this year.

Driving up the road it was immediately clear to see someone had been busy — a monolithic structure made of stripped pine now welcomes visitors to the grounds.

The new owners are local developers and investors who want to be where the action is, and bring the action to the rodeo arena, they explain. They plan to do this by increasing community involvement, and creating an atmosphere where people want to come and to stay for a while.

 

After saying hello to owners, father and son Kevin and Tanner Tweed, and giving a quick hug to Coarsegold 4H Leader Pat Strimling who happened to be on site, the Tweeds directed my attention to an artist painting a large and colorful mural on the side of a previously plain building.

Rodeo 2016 artist Mauro Carrera CU by Kellie FlanaganThey introduced Mauro Carerra, originally from Mexico, who has been practicing his craft in the Fresno area for about five years.

Carerra’s combination of traditional and street art has graced another building the Tweeds own in Shaver Lake, and now — rodeo guests and anyone who stops in to visit will get to see the stunning vision the artist was creating last week in Coarsegold — it will be finished by Rodeo day.

The annual rodeo is good fun for the whole family, and perhaps especially so this year with what the Tweeds planning. As always, the rodeo will feature bull riding, bronc riding, roping, barrel racing, Royalty Contest, Exceptional Kids Rodeo, Mutton Busting, great vendors and food. As a non-profit, the Rodeo Committee donates a portion of the proceeds to local organizations each year.

Rodeo 2016 Entryway by Kellie FlanaganThis year, the Tweeds donated the rodeo grounds to the Rodeo Committee — suggesting the committee put any profit back into the facility to make it even better than ever.

The Rodeo starts officially on Friday, Apr. 29 at Heritage Day, when it’s free for all local schools. Kids experience the life of early mountain settlers and enjoy fun, educational and hands-on learning booths, as they check out gold panning, wool spinning, basket weaving, and authentic Native American tribal dancing.

The event will feature new exhibits with more animals than before, along with a petting zoo. Have you ever tried acorn shelling, face painting or digging for fossils?

Groups will meet first responders, K-9 units and emergency vehicles, see a horse show with barrel racing and roping, and more. Food will be available for sale, there’ll be live music playing and even a poster contest.

Rodeo 2016 barrel race clinic members including Michelle McLeod by Kellie FlanaganPresale rodeo tickets can be purchased at Coarsegold Market, Kwik Serve gas station in Coarsegold, Mountain Feed and Yosemite Bank.

Read all the details and check out the entire schedule of professional rodeo action including dance and cowboy church here at the website, www.thecoarsegoldrodeo.com

Meanwhile, back at the grounds as rodeo preparations were underway, the Tweeds continued our tour which naturally led to horses. On this particular day, the arena was being used by professional barrel racer and well-known trainer Michelle McLeod, currently entered in the professional national finals. Michelle was with her daughter, Katelyn, holding a clinic before the next day’s competition, unrelated to the rodeo this weekend.

Rodeo 2016 Bret Baize and Katelyn McLeod by Kellie FlanaganThat kind of competition is something the Tweeds and the Baize family want to see more of at the rodeo grounds.

Brett and Leah Baize live on the property, and Leah is a pro barrel racer herself, so they are managing that end of the business.

Toward that end, fresh equipment has been purchased including brand spankin’ new roping and bucking chutes, and the Black Widow, designed to keep that arena soil just right for the beloved champion horses and their riders as they turn on a dime for the sport. In fact, look for Goldrush Barrel Racing to take place on a regular basis, coming soon.

This particular Friday night at the Rodeo, though, plan to attend the Queen Dinner and YHS FFA Fundraiser, and join the Royalty committee for the final interview and judging for the 2016 Coarsegold Rodeo Royalty Contest. Winners will be announced at the Rodeo.

Rodeo 2016 Priefert Ranch Equipment gate by Kellie FlanaganYosemite High School FFA will be selling dinners as a fundraiser on Friday night – $15 for tri-tip and $10 for hamburgers. Presale tickets can be purchased from Rodeo President Jill Satterfield or Ken Beatty. You can contact them via the Rodeo Facebook page to make arrangements for pickup. Tickets will also be available at the door until sold out. Royalty programs will also be available for sale $10/each.

As some may remember, the Tweeds’ company, Pavilion, owns a couple of other properties in the area: they purchased the Broken Bit in Coarsegold back in early 2015, and at the same time picked up the property where Alice’s BBQ is located in Oakhurst off of Highway 41.

Rodeo 2016 town by Kellie FlanaganWhen they were envisioning plans for the rodeo property, the Tweeds knew they wanted to continue on with the venue as an equestrian center, and also brainstormed ways to make it an attraction that’s appealing to all, even people who aren’t riders.

It’s still about rodeo, though — as they are currently awaiting approval of an application with the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA) in Clovis to partner with Wes Ibrahimi in Raymond on another rodeo on their Coarsegold grounds, possibly over the weekend of Sept. 17 – 18, this year.

In an effort to give the community good access to the property, the Tweeds have handed over the keys, so to speak, to make the place home practice central for the Minarets Equestrian Team who now ride there regularly.

Rodeo 2016 Kevin Tweed in the mill by Kellie FlanaganPlans for the future of the expansive property may include the manifestation of ideas ranging from a dog shelter to three soccer fields. As usual, the Coarsegold 4H is involved and recently the Hussey family volunteered their time, and even painted the water tank. They’re all out there, busy making changes one step at a time.

Starting off the day on Saturday, Apr. 30, the 2016 Coarsegold Rodeo invites families from the special needs community to attend this year’s Exceptional Kids Rodeo. This unique program allows “exceptional kids” of all ages to take part in rodeo-themed games and activities before the main rodeo action starts on Saturday.

Rodeo 2016 planed lumber by Kellie FlanaganWith help from our Rodeo Royalty contestants, each participant is given encouragement and individual assistance through each activity. At the end of the event, a special awards ceremony recognizes everyone’s involvement and celebrates their unique abilities.

Forms are available at http://www.thecoarsegoldrodeo.com/events/exceptional-kids-rodeo/

What else is new on the Coarsegold Rodeo grounds? As a matter of fact, they’ve been working really hard to upgrade the kids’ experience from the moment people step onto the property.

Rodeo 2016 Alphonso Lozano transports logs by Kellie FlanaganAlphonso Lozano lives on the property now, running the on-site mill and keeping his hands in all areas of artistic and practical construction. Some may recall that Lozano had the place on Highway 41 at Deadwood, where for years people could see his benches, tables, swings and bark dwellings like the Yokuts used to make, on display outside his shop.

Alphonso built the big entryway to the rodeo after he drew the design in the dirt with his boot for the Tweeds’ approval. It is comprised of 30 logs and the cross-member is 38-feet long, weighing in at 7,000 pounds. With all the extra pine around due to the bark beetle and drought-related massive die-off, it’s a good time to think of things to make with leftover logs, and that’s what they’ve been doing at the ranch.

Rodeo 2016 Lois Bohna by Kellie FlanaganNone of this would have been possible, they say, without the graciousness of former owner Tom Bohna, who grew up with his family on the ranch and built the rodeo facility with his dad in 1974. Tom and Lois Bohna have been outstanding to work with, say the Tweeds, and they’re also grateful to Tim Dunham for all the hard work putting the deal together.

All in all, it was exciting and energizing to see what’s happening out at the rodeo grounds, and everyone concerned hopes the public will come by in droves to see for yourself during this 64th Annual Coarsegold Rodeo weekend, and beyond.

As a final note, there’s really no reason for the big old boat to be there, but everybody thinks it’s cool. Place bets now on what it will become.

Photos and story by SNO Managing Editor, Kellie Flanagan

Click on any image to enlarge.

Rodeo 2016 ship by Kellie FlanaganRodeo 2016 Cowgirl by Kellie FlanaganRodeo 2016 Black Widow by Kellie FlanaganRodeo 2016 Saloon by Kellie FlanaganRodeo 2016 mill and wood by Kellie FlanaganRodeo 2016 mill by Kellie FlanaganRodeo 2016 Kubota by Kellie FlanaganRodeo 2016 exit by Kellie Flanagan

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