“If you can’t do it on horseback, it’s not worth doing.” So says this year’s Fiesta Rodeo Honorary Vaquero, Fred Reyes — and his life is a testament to this philosophy. A direct descendant of the Ortega family, Reyes grew up on a ranch in the Cuyama Valley, which is now known as Walking R Ranch. Reyes continues to operate Walking R, where he runs a cow/calf operation. He does most of the work himself, and, with a lifetime of experience and a degree from Cal Poly in animal husbandry and horseshoeing under his belt, Reyes is frequently called upon by his neighbors to assist them with their gatherings and brandings. Reyes has judged rodeos and stock-horse classes, and with his philosophy and his lifelong commitment to cattle ranching in the vaquero tradition, this honor is well-earned.
Originally published 12:00 p.m., August 3, 2006
Updated 3:33 p.m., October 19, 2006
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