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The bull-riding event will benefit a 9-year-old boy who faces a bone marrow transplant

Twenty cowboys will face 40 bulls Saturday night in a bull-riding event that benefits a little cowboy who is fighting for his life.

Rowdy Ware, the 9-year-old son of local residents Steve and Rachel Ware, was diagnosed with aplastic anemia in October. The rare, life-threatening condition occurs when the body stops producing enough new red blood cells.

Rowdy has been at the Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland since his diagnosis, where he receives transfusions and is closely monitored. A matching bone marrow donor has been found, and Rowdy is scheduled to have a bone marrow transplant.

Funds raised during the Buckin' for Rowdy bull-riding event will assist the Ware family with medical and travel expenses and help ease their financial burden so both parents can be readily available for Rowdy and their four other children.

Gates open at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 29 at the Crook County Fairgrounds indoor arena, and bull riding begins at 7 p.m. Admission is a $10 donation. Tickets are available at Prineville Men's Wear in advance and at the gate.

"We have 20 guys on a two-head average, so about 40 bulls. All 20 guys get on two heads," said Patrick Drinkard, who is helping organize Buckin' for Rowdy.

The bull-riding contestants are coming from Prineville, Powell Butte and Culver as well as Corvallis and Idaho.

The stock will be provided by 2 Bucks Rodeo Company of Powell Butte, NS Cattle Company of Redmond, KMH Bucking Bulls of Prineville, Gorham Bucking Bulls of Lebanon/Kent, and K/L Bucking Bulls of Wasco.

The event will also include a silent auction and raffle for items that have been donated.

A band will provide entertainment from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and again after the bull riding concludes until midnight.

Drinkard has already secured $10,000 in sponsorships and said the support has been overwhelming.

He said it would be great if Buckin' for Rowdy could bring in enough money to cover the family's expenses.

"I think it's a great benefit, helping a local family and a family in need. Steve works for himself, so he is trying to balance work and being up there with his son," Drinkard said. "Steve is somebody who'd give his shirt off his back to somebody in need."

Buckin' for Rowdy

Date: Saturday, Dec. 29, gates open at 5:30 p.m., event starts at 7 p.m.

Place: Crook County Fairgrounds indoor arena, 1280 S. Main St.

$10 donation per ticket

Advance tickets available at Prineville Men's Wear

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