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The White Horse

Not a good idea to rewrite history. In your “Fiesta Photos and History” article, a caption below a picture of Camarillo family members in the paper states, “Señoritas y Palominos: The Camarillo sisters began riding their family’s palomino horses in the equestrian parade starting in 1949.” The Historical Museum has the same photo in their Fiesta display with the mistaken “palomino” identification for the horses. The white horses Adolfo Camarillo bred and raised were admired world wide. They all descended from his white stallion “Sultan.”

In the Spanish tradition, the family only rode stallions or geldings; mares were never trained for riding. The late Hattie Feazelle told me for the first Fiesta parade, in 1924, Adolfo Camarillo invited her to ride with his family because she had a white half-Arab pony and would fit in with their white horses.

Adolfo’s granddaughter, the late Paquita Parker, told me her grandfather never sold any of his prized horses. He even refused President Cardenas of Mexico and the Emperor of Japan when they approached him, each seeking to buy one for personal use. The president of the albino horse association came to Adolfo’s ranch imploring him to register the horses as albinos. Adolfo pointed out his horses didn’t have the blue eyes and pink skin of an albino.

For decades the Camarillos paraded their white horses in many California parades, including the parade in 1937 across the Golden Gate Bridge to celebrate the grand opening of the bridge. After Adolfo’s death in 1958 his daughter Carmen continued the tradition of parading her horses with the family.

In her will Carmen stated the horses were to be sold. She felt it was too expensive for the family to continue parading them. A few of the buyers decided to band together and continue raising the horses. In the Fiesta parade this year entry #49 was, “Group of Spanish Riders, Camarillo White Horse Association.” Viva la Fiesta!

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