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February, 2019


Exceptional Grand Entry Opens Every
San Antonio Rodeo

One of the most popular and patriotic parts of the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo is the grand entry.
(click to enlarge)
One of the most popular and patriotic parts of the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo is the grand entry. There is an extensive history behind the Palomino patrol, much of it surrounding the stunning silver tack and flashy uniforms.
(click to close)

One of the most popular and patriotic parts of the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo is the grand entry of the Jack Sellers Bexar County Palomino Patrol and Drill Team. The Drill Team's exhilarating galloping entry sets the stage getting the audience on their feet and ready to welcome the stunning golden palominos as they prance into the arena, each carrying an American flag. The team stands in unity, honoring our country as the National Anthem is sung and the invocation is given. Originally, the patrol did a presentation with the "Six Flags Over Texas." After 9/11, the Patrol began a new tradition of carrying American Flags in a "Salute to America." The organization consists of seasoned men and women riders who volunteer their personal time to put on such a spectacular show.

There is an extensive history behind the Palomino patrol, much of it surrounding the stunning silver tack and flashy uniforms. In 1951, the founders Joe and Harry Freeman felt the grand entry needed to add more excitement to the opening ceremony of their rodeo. A connection was made with their life-long friend, Jack Sellers who was an astute businessman, a breeder of American Saddlebred palominos and an experienced horseman. Originally, Saddlebred palominos made up the team, however, today multiple breeds of palomino color are used. These horses are golden in color and sparkle in the sun with their white mane and tail. They are considered one of the most striking in the world of horses. Sellers, being an owner of several Ted Flowers saddles, added even more pizazz by dressing the horses with a set of German silver tack and uniforms that channeled the Roy Rogers era.

Each rider has access to a vintage parade saddle that is covered in German silver. This small selection of unique saddles were made by Ted Flowers in the 1950s. An original Flowers saddle is marked with an engraved flower on the saddle horn. This sets them apart from replicas that are accessible. Being considered an "antique" saddle, the riders must take exquisite care of their tack sets by keeping them polished, oiled, and maintaining any tired leather. A tack set consists of a saddle, corona pad, breast collar, hip drops, serape, tapaderos, and a bridal all covered in German silver. A full set of silver tack with all the pieces weighs about 125 pounds and is valued at about $10,000-$15000 in excellent condition. It takes approximately 20 minutes to outfit one horse in an entire tack set.

In 2003, the Palomino Patrol Drill Team was formed to ride with the Palomino Patrol in the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo.
(click to enlarge)
In 2003, the Palomino Patrol Drill Team was formed to ride with the Palomino Patrol in the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo. The Drill Team adds a unique component to the Palomino Patrol with their unique Western Heritage style.
(click to close)

In 2003, the Palomino Patrol Drill Team was formed to ride with the Palomino Patrol in the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo. The Drill Team adds a unique component to the Palomino Patrol with their unique Western Heritage style. The riders wear custom designed black and silver leather chaps and western shirts to compliment the colors of the Palomino Patrol. The Drill Team consists of a variety of horse breeds and colors. The horse and rider must be able to maintain speed and control while running a pattern at a vigorous pace. The horses are dressed in sparkling black leather tack that provides them safety and support as they run fancy pattern work at a high rate of speed. The team captures the Texas heritage by carrying Texas flags and shadows the San Antonio Rodeo's continual award of winning PRCA Indoor Rodeo of the Year.

The Palomino Patrol and Drill Team are supported by its own personal ground crew. This crew is made up of men and women volunteers that take care of all the "behind the scenes" details. The main priority for this crew is horse and rider safety. They saddle horses for the riders and check each tack piece for possible malfunction before entering the arena. These volunteers have a wealth of knowledge in horsemanship and make it a priority to learn about each horse they handle. All of them keep watch as the grand entry takes place and remain on standby to assist in any situation that may arise each performance. This crew is an integral part of the organization and is literally the glue!

In 2003, the Palomino Patrol Drill Team was formed to ride with the Palomino Patrol in the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo.
(click to enlarge)
In 2003, the Palomino Patrol Drill Team was formed to ride with the Palomino Patrol in the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo. The Drill Team adds a unique component to the Palomino Patrol with their unique Western Heritage style.
(click to close)

The Palomino Patrol and Drill Team complete 21 rides by the time the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo comes to a close. Each rider works together to care for each other and the horses and fellowship together during nightly meals. It is a priority for the organization to keep Jack Sellers legacy alive and preserve the heritage and tradition of the original organization as they carry the American flag with pride, celebrating our freedoms keeping the hope alive for all they encounter.