Landmark years and pivotal moments throughout the Silver Spurs Riding Club’s history
After celebrating 75 years of rodeo action, community involvement, and volunteerism, the Silver Spurs Riding Club reflects back on their landmark years. The Silver Spurs Rodeo is put on bi-annually by a group of 300+ volunteers, and while their love for the sport of rodeo is strong, their love for the Silver Spurs Rodeo is incomparable. It is with that shared love for the Silver Spurs Rodeo that the Club is what it is today. Though we are thankful for what it is now and look forward to what is to come, we are most thankful for all the years behind us. On the blog, we discuss pivotal moments of the Silver Spurs Rodeo and the Silver Spurs Riding Club.
1941 – The Silver Spurs Riding Club was formed. By the end of their first year, they had hosted a small informal rodeo and performed a square dance on horseback known as Quadrille in Moultrie, Georgia.
1943 – The club members built their first rodeo arena on land donated by Henry O. Partin. That land was located on the corner of today’s Neptune Road and Kings Highway in Kissimmee.
1944 – The first official Silver Spurs Rodeo was held. The admission to this event was the purchase of a war bond. It was held in the Partin pasture and drew about 1,000 people. The initial success ultimately led to the first full-dress rodeo on July 4, 1944.
1949 – The club acquired 15 acres on US Highway 192 and started work on the Silver Spurs Rodeo Arena.
1950 – The first rodeo was held at the Silver Spurs Rodeo Arena on US Highway 192.
1950s – The Osceola County School District created Rodeo Day. This occurs every February on the Friday of the rodeo. This was implemented because many families volunteered their time to the Silver Spurs Rodeo, and since all performances were held in the afternoon, children missed school. The School District realized kids were missing school regardless and made it a holiday.
1960 – After the creation of Miss Rodeo America in 1955, the Silver Spurs Riding Club created the title of Miss Silver Spurs. Janice Samuel Demond had the honor of being the first Miss Silver Spurs.
1972 – The title of Little Miss Silver Spurs was created to join Miss Silver Spurs in her reign. The first Little Miss Silver Spurs was Stacey Poff Hall.
1980s – The Silver Spurs Riding Club started awarding high school graduates with scholarships. With the help of the community, our scholarship has grown to be four individual scholarships of $2,000 apiece.
1982 – The Coca-Cola Cowboy Award was created to honor the men who selflessly volunteered their time to the Silver Spurs Riding Club. “Geech” Partin was the first Coca-Cola Cowboy Award recipient.
1989 – The first Special Rodeo was held in conjunction with the Silver Spurs Rodeo in February. It was started by Fran McLaughlin because she had a special needs child and wanted him to be able to enjoy all the fun activities’ the other kids enjoyed when they attended the rodeo.
1992 – Breaking tradition, Patsy Heffner was the first female Big Boss of the Silver Spurs Riding Club. Many women served as Committee chairs and on the Board of Directors but never officially took the reins as Big Boss. This was also the start of the Women’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Similar to the Coca-Cola Cowboy Award, it was created to honor the women who served the Club for decades. Carrie Whaley was the first Women’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.
1999 – The Silver Spurs Riding Club approved the demolition of the old arena. After partnering with the Osceola BOCC, the development of a brand new state-of-the-art indoor facility began.
2002 – The last rodeo was held in the outdoor arena in February. Demolition began on the historic arena and construction was soon started on the new multi-purpose Silver Spurs Arena.
2003 – The first rodeo in the new building was held. This arena has 8,300 seats with 12 luxury skyboxes.
2005 – The first Special Rodeo after the move to the new building took place. The Special Rodeo didn’t take place during the few years in between the old arena being torn down and the new Silver Spurs Arena being built. When the new arena was finished, two Silver Spurs members, Bridget Coggins and Sara Berlinsky brought the tradition back. Participants are still able to ride horses, rope a steer dummy, sit on the famous Big Blue Boot and meet state and local rodeo queens and contestants!
2011 – The Silver Spurs Riding Club introduced a new event, Monster Bulls. Monster Bulls is strictly for showing off our 2,000-pound athletes. At this event, you can see cowboys and bulls go head to head!
2014 -.The Silver Spurs Riding Club created the Junior Miss Silver Spurs title, adding to Miss and Little Miss Silver Spurs. Kassidy Kabot held the first title as Junior Miss Silver Spurs.
2017 – A one-day rodeo event, Boots, Bulls and Barrels was created and put on by the volunteers of the Silver Spurs Riding Club. At this event, you can see bull riding, barrel racing and steer wrestling!