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Champion brothers prepare to compete in hometown rodeo

By Amanda Starrantino

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    LIVERMORE, California (KPIX) — It is a serene scene on a Wednesday afternoon at the Peterson family’s property in Livermore.

Brothers, Jake and Grant Peterson grew up together in this ranch lifestyle, both knowing at an early age that they were going to take their riding skills to the extreme.

At 24 years old, Jake is a champion bull rider.

“Try to keep it the same every time, just try to stay cool and relaxed,” Jake explains about what it is like on the back of a bull.

His 20-year-old brother, Grant, followed suit, as a steer wrestler.

“Shoot, it is better to have a clear head going into it than overthinking it or usually it doesn’t go very good,” Grant said about competing in the arena.

Both compete around the country on the rodeo circuit. But this weekend, they just need to go right around the corner to get in on the action.

“We started going as little kids just watching, it was pretty cool feeling getting to compete there one day,” Jake told KPIX.

He has competed in the Livermore Rodeo twice before. For his brother Grant though, this will be his first time as a competitor.

“Hometown rodeo will be cool, I have always wanted to do it,” Grant said.

This year marks the 104th running of the Livermore Rodeo, that is dubbed the “World’s Fastest Rodeo.” It got it’s start in 1918 during World War I when California cities and towns were assessed to assist in the Red Cross funding for war efforts. Livermore answered the call to raise their quota of money by holding a rodeo in town.

“It is a bigger rodeo compared to others, it is pretty exciting to compete here,” Jake said.

The Peterson brothers have been coming to the Livermore Rodeo since they were kids.

Still to this day in 2022, it is when those gates open at the rodeo, where practice meets experience and these cowboys and cowgirls are pushed to the limits.

“The satisfaction you get from winning,” Jake said. “It just keeps you coming back.”

Shawn Peterson is a proud father of his boys and his daughter that all have found success in competing at rodeos. Shawn also grew up in Livermore.

“I did cattle in the hills, but nothing competitive like this,” Shawn told KPIX.

After two years without the Livermore Rodeo because of the pandemic, it is something this rodeo dad does not want to see go away again anytime soon.

“Whether they do good or not, it is neat that they are doing it, it is a dying sport,” Shawn said.

For the families, like the Petersons, behind the rodeo, it is more than just a sport, it is their community.

“It is a way of life, it is just the families you meet,” Shawn said. “I am glad it is back, it is what the town is all about.”

All the events are back this weekend at the Livermore Rodeo on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets can be purchased on it’s website:

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