The rodeo parade heralding the first Fiesta de los Vaqueros, Feb. 21-23, 1925, was a hit, as was the first day of the rodeo itself, attended by approximately 5,000 people.

Although the present-day parade is advertised as non-mechanized, and until recently was touted as the longest non-mechanized parade in the world, the first parade was not completely so. It included a "large number of cars, of trick and more sedate varieties."

The rodeo began a bit earlier than planned because there were so many ropers wishing to compete.The first day's calf roping contest was won by Arthur Beloat of Buckeye.

According to the Arizona Daily Star, Feb. 22, 1925:

The second event, the bucking horse contest, was spectacular from start to finish. Most all of the mounts used were fighters, and several of the contestants joined the air service abruptly as the California and Arizona horses put forth every effort to live up to their reputations.


The cowgirls' race was called off because there was only one contestant. Steer tying team contests and bareback riding were also included, but more than half of the bareback riders "were dismounted" before finishing the course.

One horse managed to retain its perfect record:

"Little Jeff," famed as the hardest number loose on four legs, and thus far unridden, still held the title last night, although Bill Shepard of Arivaca, made an attempt to put a kink in the western horse's unbroken record. Saddled in the chute, Little Jeff started the party for the Arizona lad before the gates were well open, and as the barrier dropped, came pitching into the clear alone, having left Shepard clinging to the gateway. Little Jeff is still unridden.


But the twist came in the bulldogging, or steer wrestling, competition. While most contestants rode horses as is customary, two did not:

Shad Bowyer, driving a Packard car, furnished the mount for Homer Roach and Jack Brown in the final bulldogging event, while a long-horned buckskin steer led the party a merry chase before he was thrown. Brown's first trial for the steer failed and resulted in a bad spill for the puncher, but the steer later fell to Roach who threw him quickly.


Happily, there were no injuries on the first day of competition.