The public is invited to attend the 29th Annual Vaquero Show & Sale Celebration from Friday, November 8 through Sunday, November 10, 2013, honoring the lifestyle, culture and renowned horsemanship of the California Vaquero (cowboy). All proceeds from the Vaquero Show benefit the non-profit Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum in its mission to collect, preserve and share the rich history of the Santa Ynez Valley. The Vaquero Show is a popular event for visitors and residents, sponsored, in part, by the Santa Ynez Valley Hotel Association (www.VisitTheSantaYnezValley), museum members and area business supporters.

Each year a person who exemplifies the Vaquero lifestyle or is actively involved in the preservation of Vaquero heritage is selected as the “Honored Vaquero.” Ray Ordway of Madera, California, is the 2013 Honored Vaquero. Often called “Dean of Vaqueros,” Ordway was born in 1924 into California vaquero culture, following in the hoof prints made by his father Ira, uncles and older brothers Kent and Oliver, who all worked long, hard days moving and handling cattle, branding, colt starting and absorbing lessons from old-time masters. Throughout his life, Ray handled cattle and spent time starting horses in the California bridle horse tradition. In recent years, Ray continued to participate in brandings atop his Morgan gelding using a riata. However in 2012, at the age of 88, he felt it best to retire from the saddle. Ordway remarked, “I’m glad to lend my help and to support the vaquero way where ever I can; it’s so important to keep the traditions alive and pass them along to younger generations, learning a sense of respect for the horse, livestock and for people. It’s all part of true vaquero culture.”

Known for their legendary equestrian skills, vaqueros developed their unique style of horsemanship while tending the immense mission herds for eighty years before the Texas cowboy appeared on the national scene. Influenced by the Spaniards, Indians, Mexicans, and early Americans, these hard riding pioneer cow hands developed their own unique vaquero “culture” into a fine art during California’s Mission and Rancho eras. Still today, the vaquero influence can be seen in the techniques used by the cattle industry in California. The vaquero was known for his distinctive apparel, tack, saddles and other riding equipment, which were as unique as his horsemanship skill. The iconic picture of a vaquero includes his low-crowned, wide-brimmed hat held in place by a barbiquejo (chin strap) that extended just below the lower lip. He wore an ample, Colonial shirt with a wide red Spanish sash, button-up short pants and a pair of rough buckskin shoes fitted with a large pair of spurs. It is this vaquero horsemanship, gear, and lifestyle that have remained a part of California heritage and continue to be preserved and celebrated every November at the Vaquero Show.

29th Annual Vaquero Show & Sale Schedule of Events:

Friday, November 8, 2013

4:00-6:30 p.m.: Preview Party and Sale at the Historical Museum, 3596 Sagunto Street, Santa Ynez. Attendees enjoy cocktails and “horse d’oeuvres,” toe tapping live entertainment by Steve Woods and early buying privileges. Preview Party tickets only $20 at the door.

7:00-9:30 p.m.: Gala Dinner at the historic Old Mission Santa Inés, 1760 Mission Drive, Solvang. Meet 2013 Honored Vaquero Ray Ordway. A live auction will be held following a catered dinner to help raise funds for the Historical Museum. Dinner reservations are $75 for museum members and $85 for non-members. Dinner tickets include admission to the festive Preview Party. Tickets for dinner are by advance purchase only.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.: Vaquero Show & Sale at the Historical Museum. $5 day pass or $7 for two-day pass.

11:00 a.m.: Sheila Varian, Honored Vaquera demonstrates the early Californio technique of horse training while explaining the use of specific vaquero-style tack.

11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.: Cowboy Lunch available for purchase in Museum courtyard.

1:00–4:00 p.m.: Musical entertainment in the Museum Courtyard by Ron Miller of the Full Gallop Band.

2:00 p.m.: Jack Armstrong, highly respected leather craftsman, will demonstrate the process of creating a braided riata using vaquero style techniques.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.: Vaquero Show & Sale at the Historical Museum. $5 for a one-day pass.

11:00 a.m.: Jeff Derby, vaquero horseman demonstrates the vaquero style of training a horse from a hackamore to a two rein through to a bridle.

11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.: Cowboy Lunch available for purchase in Museum courtyard.

Noon – 2:00 p.m.: Live Music by Owen Johnston in the courtyard.

1:00 p.m.: The winning ticket for a custom handcrafted bridle by master leather craftsman Ron Butler and snaffle bit by legendary Chuck Irwin will be awarded to the prize winning ticket holder.

3:00 p.m.: Show closes. Make plans to attend the 30th annual Vaquero Show on November 7-9, 2014.

Information and advanced ticket sales for the Preview Party, Gala Vaquero Dinner and Vaquero Show weekend are available at the Museum, 3596 Sagunto Street, by calling 805-688-7889 or online at the Museum website


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