From Santa Barbara’s Fiesta Parade to our own "Fiesta de los Vaqueros"
For years, a small group of history & horse buffs devoted to all things "vaquero" wished there was an organization in the Los Angeles area dedicated to preserving and celebrating this most glorious yet neglected chapter of Los Angeles’ Spanish ranching heritage. Finally, they solved the dilemma by creating the Vaquero Heritage Foundation.
The Foundation’s "ambassadors" are the Vaquero Heritage Riders, who wear costumes authentic to early 1800’s Spanish Los Angeles. Their color guard carries the four national flags that have flown over Southern California. In 2003, they brought history to life in parades in Sunland-Tujunga, Santa Barbara, Aqua Dulce and San Fernando. Next year, they will also provide free educational programs for local schools. Documentaries, children’s history books and other published materials are planned. To help underwrite the cost of this ambitious agenda, the VHF, a non-profit 501(c) 3, seeks sponsors and patrons. Our first annual fundraiser, "La Fiesta de los Vaqueros," was held on December 6, 2003.
Raffle Prizes & More - A bit similar to the one pictured, donated by Broken Horn Saddlery, was won by Sharon Van Loon of Acton, California. Runner-up Oscar Rubalcava of San Fernando won a silver-mounted headstall donated by Champion Turf Equipment. Additional prizes were donated by East Valley Feed & Tack, the Autry Museum of Western Heritage, and McPherson’s Saddlery.
Other generous patrons and supporters include U.S. Congressman Brad Sherman, Los AngelesCounty Supervisor Michael Antonovich, State Assemblymember Cindy Montañez, Los Angeles City Councilmember Wendy Greuel, and all the great folks at Rancho Padilla. To thank her for the proactive work she has done on behalf of protecting horse-keeping rights and horse zoning in the Northeast Valley, Wendy Greuel received our First Annual Honorary Vaquero award.
The Vaquero Heritage Foundation expresses heart-felt thanks to everyone who helped make our first year such a great success. Gracias
About 2003-2004 New Year’s Horse:
14-year-old Arabian gelding "Sunny" helped his rider win many trophy buckles in the fast & exciting sport of Cowboy Mounted Shooting. He works well in anything from a hackamore to a spade, and is tolerant of "fashion accessories" (such as holly wreathes).
The VHF parade group includes Arabians, Quarterhorses, Mustangs and Mules, as well as one of the oldest breeds known to civilization, the ancestor of all American breeds -- the Spanish Colonial Horse (Barb). Until the 1800’s they were the dominant horse in California, but later they disappeared. A goal of the VHF is to re-establish the Barb breed in California. Our Foundation Sire is a Chilean stallion and true Barb, "Lolco," imported by owner/rider Leon Marquez.