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Gilroy Rodeo Flag Team

The Gilroy Rodeo Flag Team was formed in 2017 and we are so excited to be going into our 5th year. The teams work hard each year to finesse several patterned routines in order to bring the best presentation of all flags during the Gilroy Rodeo. It takes a lot of commitment and work to memorize patterns/timing/spacing, riders and horses must keep in good athletic shape. Several months each year, before the Gilroy Rodeo, riders begin practicing so they can confidently and safely carry a flag during rodeo performances. These riders will get the honors of flying sponsors flags several times through out the rodeo each day and riding a patriotic routine once during the main rodeo performance each day. This is a team sport, riders will have to work well in groups and take coaching and instruction from the Flag Team Coach/Coordinator.

Get Involved
In 2024, the performance drill team is closed to newcomers, but we are still looking for grand entry and fly by riders! There is no try out date, just attend practices as a tryout. 

Practice dates: May 10 (@Thorson's Arena), May 17 

Please reach out to Serena to get involved (Text (408) 204-2891,

Flag team riders must attend 80% of practices and let us know of your attendance conflicts prior to practice

Note: Grand entry and fly by only riders do not need to attend every practice, but will be required to attend a minimum number of practices leading up to the rodeo. Everyone on horseback must sign a Gilroy Rodeo waiver


  • Fly By Team: Riders will do one controlled lap in arena with major sponsor flags at high speed

  • Grand Entry Team (all riders): Riders will carry all sponsor flags and present them in the grand entry ceremony 

  • Flag team performance team: Riders will carry flags and do a 2-3 minute program 

  • Understudy team: Riders that were not placed on others teams are placed on the understudy team. The team is welcome to attend all practices and exposes horses to the rodeo environment in a safe manner. These riders can fill in at practices and if needed, performances as well. 


Requirements and Guidelines 

  • All riders must be approved by the try out process

  • Junior riders (under 18) are welcome but must ride with a helmet

  • Riders must be experienced and in complete control of horse at all times

  • Riders must provide and use a flag boot

  • Riders must have their own transportation

  • Once chosen for the team, all practices, performance and parades are mandatory unless excused by coach

  • NO drinking or drugs of any kind during practices /performances or while wearing Gilroy Rodeo Flag Team Apparel (Some GRFT apparel may be provided for performances) 

  • Horse Guidelines:

    • Must ride in a western saddle and one handed at performances and practices

    • No Stud Horses (no exceptions)

    • No kicking/biting/bucking

  • Rider Guidelines:​

    • Must wear collared, button down, long sleeve shirt and western style blue jeans (no rips) at performances

    • Proper jeans and boots are required for all riders at practices

    • Must ride in cowboy boots at performances and practices

    • Cowboy hat (straw) or helmet required for performances​

Any rider in violation of these requirements may be asked to leave the team

Got Questions? Please contact: 

Serena Heppes: Text (408) 204-2891,

Stacie Roberts:

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