Staff Report


Los Alamos ranchers Brandy and John Branquinho will be featured as this year’s Honored Vaqueros at the 95th annual Santa Barbara Old Spanish Days Fiesta Stock Horse Show & Rodeo, running Aug. 1-4, at Earl Warren Showgrounds in Santa Barbara.

The Branquinhos met in the fall of 1969, were married in 1972 and have three sons — Tony (Sharla), Casey (Nicole) and Luke (Lindsay). The couple has nine grandchildren — Cersten, Kylee, Blake, Betty, Trinety Taylor, Cade, Jameson and Bear — and most of them will be competing in this year’s rodeo.

Brandy and John Branquinho, both children of longtime ranching and farming families, were raised in northern Santa Barbara County, where they learned and lived the Western way of life. John Branquinho has been competing in the Fiesta Rodeo since he was 15, while Brandy started when she was 19.

They introduced their children to rodeo at an early age, and all three sons are involved in the Fiesta Rodeo. Following in their bootsteps is the next generation, which is entered in many of the rodeo’s junior events.

John Branquinho is a third-generation Californian whose grandparents came to the Santa Maria Valley in the 1800s. He was raised in Garey, outside Santa Maria, where his parents, Ellinore and John Branquinho, raised cattle and farmed.

Brandy is a fifth-generation Californian, and her great-great-great-grandfather, José Francisco Ortega, was the first captain of El Presidio de Santa Bárbara, which was established in 1782. She grew up in Los Alamos, where her parents, Nancy and Bill Luton, lived.

The Branquinhos have always loved having their children and grandchildren help on the family ranch and in the rodeo arenas, and are proud to pass on their heritage to the next generation at the Fiesta Stock Horse Show & Rodeo.

The rodeo opens at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 1, with a special PBRperformance at Earl Warren Showgrounds, 3400 Calle Real in Santa Barbara. The PRCA rodeo continues at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2, and Saturday, Aug. 3, with a matinee performance at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4. Tickets are still available.

Click here for more information about the nonprofit Fiesta Stock Horse Show & Rodeo. Click here to order tickets online.