Children and Youth

Saddle Horse Show & Rodeo this weekend at Bolado Park Fairgrounds

It's a busy time for rodeo in San Benito County as participants anticipate this weekend's fun

Rodeo enthusiasts are looking forward to the Saddle Horse Show & Rodeo this weekend at the Bolado Park Event Center. The Saddle Horse Association created the event in 1929, when a group of ranch owners and managers met in Hollister to discuss creating a rodeo to coincide with the annual county fair. 

The weekend's event begins Friday night with a taco bar and the Mariachi Alma de Mexico Band. There will be family-friendly events all weekend long, with free events in the Kids Corral, as well as a western art and tack show near the grandstand. 

Visitors can also purchase separate tickets for a Cowboy Barbecue on Saturday night, with a full bar and singer/songwriter J Parson providing music for the evening.

The past few weeks have been a busy time for local rodeo. Last week, from June 10 to 17, the California High School Rodeo Association (CHSRA) held the 2017 state finals events in Bishop, Calif. At the state finals, many San Benito County residents competed against students from other California districts.

A rodeo is organized around events like cutting, saddle bronc, and roping. All participants have two chances to put up their highest score in their events. If those scores land them in the top 15, they move on to a second round of events called the “short go.” After competing in the “short go,” the top four participants move on to the national high school rodeo finals. The national high school finals are already taking place this week in Tennessee, and in Wyoming in July.

Local Terrie Fuentes, mother of twins Blake and Clint, watched her sons compete in the saddle bronc and team roping events for District 4. Dawson Bell, another county resident, was Clint’s partner in the team roping event. While everyone was expected to do well, Fuentes says that “they had a real rough week. None of them made it to short go.” 

But when it comes to rodeo, the outcome isn’t always most important. Fuentes says that the rodeo “is such a neat time for all of us. We all camp out with trailers and barbecue together. It’s such a wonderful experience for [Blake and Clint] and they feel so fortunate.”

Next year, both Blake and Clint will continue to compete in rodeo while studying at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo. 

Tickets for this weekend's Saddle Horse and Rodeo Show are $10 for adults, $7 for children.

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Jessica is a writer from Los Angeles, California. After studying Literature and Film Theory at Harvard, she traveled the world as a journalist. To date, Jessica has visited more than 40 countries and written about international civil rights, subversive art and music, Chilean wine, and everything in between. Jessica is also a skilled content strategist and has lent her storytelling expertise to leading tech companies in Silicon Valley. Find her on Twitter @JessicaCaimi