Hometown Pride Tour: Vernon’s Palomino Club

Published: May. 16, 2023 at 8:11 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - The Palomino Club riders are known to perform in rodeos, parades, and charity events in different states. This year the club is gearing up for Vernon’s 77th Santa Rosa Roundup.

“Started making reasonable rodeos to promote our rodeo,” said Jeff Bearden, former president of the Palomino Club.

In 1949, Bearden said 16 men came together to form a riding club to promote the Santa Rosa Roundup.

“Since then the club has ridden all over Texas, Oklahoma, and about eight or nine other states. In 1966, the club was named the most outstanding riding club in the nation by the American Association of Sheriff’s riding club,” said Bearden.

Former riders said the club was invite only and being a part of the club meant being a part of history.

“It’s the biggest part of my life. I thoroughly enjoyed it and had a great time with a bunch of great guys,” said Jean Tyra former rider.

“When I was little I use to see these guys ride on TV, you know Thanksgiving Day parade, Rose Bowl Parade,” said Kevin Cooper, President of the Palomino Club.

“And I remember the Palomino Club with 50 riders. You ride with red shirts, white shirts, blue shirts,” said Larry Drennan, the former rider.

“They’re united by the love of doing this. We love rodeo we love performing, we love making the trips. For many of us, it’s become family vacations when we make those trips and there’s a unique bond between the men that have ridden in the Palomino club. Over the years there have probably been over 300 men,” said Bearden.

Bearden is a second-generation rider, like many men in the club, it’s become a family tradition.

“Also during the week, we’ll go to people that can’t come. We’ll do a performance on Thursday morning at North Texas state hospital here in Vernon and go to some of the nursing homes and rehabilitation centers and perform a little bit for the folks that can’t get out and come to the rodeo,” added Bearden.