The 80th annual Poly Royale Rodeo took place last weekend at the Cotton Rosser Rodeo Complex and featured events including saddle bronc riding, calf roping and break away roping –– and a surprise.

The Make-A-Wish foundation and the Cal Poly Rodeo team partnered up to grant 11-year-old Maddie Owens’ wish during the event.

Maddie was diagnosed with ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, when she was ten. 

“They took out the bone that it was on and put a bone from my leg into my arm,” Maddie said.

Maddie is now in remission and is able to ride horses again. When she was asked what she wanted her wish to be, she said it was an easy choice:

“My wish was to be a barrel racer for the day,” said Maddie.

Maddie’s parents cheered her on while she barrel raced. 

“It was pretty fulfilling for us tonight to see that come to fruition and see her wish granted,” Stephen Owens, Maddie’s father, said.

Along with getting to barrel race at the Poly Royale Rodeo, Maddie was also gifted her very own saddle and got to stay at the pony room in the Madonna Inn.“It had, like, a pony statue inside of it and then I had ponies on the wall. It was barn red,” Maddie said.

Although she is only 11, Maddie hopes to eventually go to college at Cal Poly and ride with the rodeo team again. 

Maddie and her family are appreciative to Coach Ben, Coach Sierra and Megan Vincent for helping grant Maddie’s wish.