A historic rodeo museum that’s been under construction for several months opens its doors this weekend to fans attending the 2018 San Benito County Saddle Horse Show and Rodeo at Bolado Park.
The newly renovated Saddle Horse Association Museum will celebrate its grand opening at 2 p.m. Friday, June 22. The ceremony will include the new expansion of the Jack Kirby Media Room. The museum will be open throughout the horse show and rodeo weekend.
“Thank you to the generous donations from family and friends of Jack Kirby that help facilitate our expansion,” said Rebecca Wolf, board director for the San Benito County Saddle Horse Show.
The Saddle Horse Show and Rodeo Museum was started in 1991 by the Saddle Horse Association. Built at the south end of the grandstands, the museum houses memorabilia from past years including photos, tack, saddle artwork of local western artists, and more. A wide variety of displays focus on assorted bits, spurs, saddles, and working ranches. It's a celebration of the rich history of the Saddle Horse Show, which started in 1929.
“Some of the first memorabilia donated to the museum was photos of Babe Hubbell and Hazel Indart,” said Wolf.
Wolf has shown a longtime commitment to county history through her personal efforts to improve the San Benito County Horse Show and Rodeo Museum at Bolado Park, just outside of Tres Pinos. She said that few events go back 85 years and the museum is great way to showcase the vaquero heritage of San Benito County.
“The museum expanded twice in size and showcases ranches and branding videos in the media room,” Wolf said. “There is even the original poster of the bulls fighting at Bolado Park from 1909.”
The new expansion at the museum honors Jack Kirby, who worked for the Santa Anita Ranch in Tres Pinos for over 40 years. Kirby was born to be a cowboy and he lived his life with pride. His work ethic was second to none, and while his words were often few, they spoke volumes about his character.
“The neat thing about the museum is it dates back to the last 80 years of the show,” said Director Charlie Tobias. “The community has a tremendous amount of interest and demand in the museum.”
The Saddle Horse Association Museum is open June 22 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday June 23 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Sunday June 24 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
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