Fiesta Horse Show and Rodeo

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Scroll through the Fiesta Rodeo slideshow above (Photos: Fritz Olenberger, courtesy of Old Spanish Days)

Every year the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association hosts a series of Fiesta events, including Bareback Riding, Tie-down Roping, Steer Stopping, Mutton Bustin’, Saddle Bronc Riding, PRCA Team Roping, Barrel Racing and Bull Riding.

The Fiesta Stock Horse Show began in 1924 as a Saturday only stock horse show event held at the old Pershing Park arena on Castillo Street. During the very first fiestas, a “competencia de vaqueros” was the highlight of the festivities. Rancher and now household street-name, J. J. Hollister,  sponsored a handmade saddle to the winner of the stock horse class as a way to encourage the development of superior cow working horses.

In 1958 the Fiesta Stock Horse Show was moved to the Earl Warren Showgrounds and professional rodeo was added to the show, which consists of professional steer wrestling, team roping, bareback broncos, saddle broncos, and bull riding. The name of the event was also changed to the Old Spanish Days Fiesta Stock Horse Show & Rodeo.

According to Fiesta Rodeo history, the main goal is to bring to town the cowboys from the many local ranches in the Tri-Counties. They must live within the Tri-Counties (San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara or Ventura) to be eligible to compete. The objective is to get local amateur horsemen competing among themselves to see who has the best horse, or is the best roper, brander, etc.

More Fiesta Rodeo history can be found here.

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Flicka Aug 08, 2018 09:08 AM
Fiesta Horse Show and Rodeo

There are events for tri-county residents only. Someone was mistaken is stating, or assuming, all competitors are from the tri-counties.

Lucky 777 Aug 07, 2018 12:34 PM
Fiesta Horse Show and Rodeo

I am shocked to read about rodeo competitors that "They must live within the Tri-Counties" because every one of the cowboys I spoke with this year was from out of the area..... Bakersfield, Templeton, Fresno. Just like so many of the groups in the parade with their fabulous dancing horses, Fiesta brings in groups from all over Southern California. And if you don't like it, don't patronize it.

pii Aug 07, 2018 08:50 AM
Fiesta Horse Show and Rodeo

Yes Flicka. These are comments from people who don't have a real connection to livestock. Most of the animals out there would be put down if there wasn't an interest in rodeo. It is not abuse, pure and simple. They are well treated and their presence preserves a tradition we best not abandon. The connection to animals is good for the human soul. Thank goodness we have rodeo to balance Dancing With the Stars and I've Got Talent.

gsurfdog Aug 07, 2018 07:30 AM
Fiesta Horse Show and Rodeo

It's all about keeping our heritage and history alive. Horse handling and cattle management is integral to California and the West's history. Like one writer wrote, it is good family fun while remembering all the tough work our forefathers did to settle the West. Thanks Fritz for all your incredible images from this year's Rodeo and Fiesta. Just amazing all of them!!!

a-1568638567 Aug 07, 2018 12:37 AM
Fiesta Horse Show and Rodeo

Rodeos are dumb, mean, stupid, contemptible and lame. Legal abuse of animals.

a-1568638567 Aug 06, 2018 05:38 PM
Fiesta Horse Show and Rodeo

Exchange the word bull with Poodle. Then, exchange the words bucking horse for bucking Golden Retriever, or Beagle. Now, put an iron rod in the dog's mouth. Attach that iron rod to a rope, now give it a good yank. Would the Beagle be scared. Is it ok to hurt it for _just_ one hour a year? Now, give the Golden Retriever a good 20 kicks to the ribs, while you are (smaller of course) on its back. Stock traveling (getting shipped) all the time and sent into cheering crowds. In fact, it's so much fun, these "stock" actually volunteer.

a-1568638567 Aug 07, 2018 12:20 AM
Fiesta Horse Show and Rodeo

The horses (and bulls) do not have iron rods (bits?) in their mouths. The bucking horses have halters on. Nothing in their mouths.

a-1568638567 Aug 06, 2018 06:17 PM
Fiesta Horse Show and Rodeo

Because a bull and a poodle are basically equivalent in so many ways... haha wow! All that tofu has gone to your brain!

Flicka Aug 06, 2018 05:19 PM
Fiesta Horse Show and Rodeo

I am so degummed sick of the rodeo protesters who seem to know nothing about livestock. Those professional rodeo horses and brahmas are incredibly valuable and get first class treatment by the owners. A bucking horse probably gets ridden no more than 1 hour a YEAR and that's an over estimate, only 8 seconds for a ride, if the rider is good enough to stay on that long. They sometimes even stop bucking when the bell goes off because they know their act is over. Any old backyard horse will buck if the second cinch slides back, it's very loose but irritating to them; hence attached to front cinch. The bulls are usually in the arena less than 30 seconds and ridden about 2 seconds unless a rider is good enough to stay on the 8 seconds. Stock goes out to winter pasture. Life of Riley.

a-1568638567 Aug 06, 2018 03:03 PM
Fiesta Horse Show and Rodeo

Great family fun - my kids really enjoyed it. Next year I'm bringing a sun umbrella no matter how "un-cowboy" it is.

Bob Wilson Aug 06, 2018 01:19 PM
Fiesta Horse Show and Rodeo

Santa Barbara touts itself as progressive, forward thinking and environmentally aware. Yet our city leaders still condone rodeo. It's not a sport. It's not legitimate entertainment. It's just animal abuse. Pure and simple. Shame on those who remain silent. Shame on those who condone it. And shame on those who support it.

Bob Wilson Aug 06, 2018 04:05 PM
Fiesta Horse Show and Rodeo

You may be right, as long as Hanna Beth and Monique care more about confetti eggs than they do protecting defenseless animals being abused for the entertainment.

a-1568638567 Aug 06, 2018 02:56 PM
Fiesta Horse Show and Rodeo

Oh Bob, EWS is owned and run by the State of CA....so the show will go on.

goaty Aug 06, 2018 12:31 PM
Fiesta Horse Show and Rodeo

As always it was quite a show, the daytime stock horse events are especially relaxing (and free) and the main events of the evening put on a show for people from all over the world.

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