Gilroy Rodeo Flag Team
The Gilroy Rodeo Flag Team was formed in 2017 and excited to be going into our 3rd year. In 2019, we also formed the Gilroy Jr Team with riders as young as 7. 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, we have tryouts to look for riders/horses that are able to 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. These riders must be able to carry a flag at various speeds and be able to keep spacing and proper flag carriage through several different patterns while rating their horses and keeping straight lines. This is a team sport, riders will have to work well in groups and take coaching and instruction from the Flag Team Coach/Coordinator.
The Gilroy Rodeo Flag Teams consist of 3 groups:
Sponsor Flag Team, carry sponsor flag 2-3 times during rodeo events each day/night to a short pattern, medium speed canter, carrying sponsor flags.
FlyBy Sponsor Flag Team, carry sponsor flags 1-3 times during rodeo each day/night. One lap at fast controlled speed around arena with sponsor flags.
Patriotic Flag Team. Carry American flag to a 3 -3 1/2 minute drill pattern, one time during main rodeo performances. Slow-medium speed canter. This team is advanced riders/horses that carry the American Flag to a short drill team pattern to patriotic music. This routine is ran once during the rodeo each day and is approximately 3 – 3 ½ minutes long.
All riders are welcome to try out for all teams or one, depending on the ability of the rider and horse and how much practicing the rider can commit to.
The teams practice 1 time each week, and 4 weeks prior to rodeo practices may be increased to 2 times per week (practice schedule is set before the tryouts begin). Riders who want to be on Team A & C, must be able to commit to all practices. Riders on Team B, must be able to commit to a minimum of 4 practices (flyby practice dates will also be set prior to tryouts). All riders must be able to work as a team and be available for all performances.
In October 2019, a handful of the Gilroy Rodeo Flag Team Seniors and Juniors got the opportunity to compete at the Grand National Rodeo Drill Team Competition! We competed against competition teams that have been around for years competing and showing. Our Senior team took 3 rd place in 2 divisions out of 6 other experienced teams. Our Junior Team took 1 st place in every peewee division and 1 st place overall! It was such a great experience that the Gilroy Rodeo Flag Team is considering returning to the Cow Palace in 2020!
Flag Team Clinic:
For the year 2020, Gilroy Rodeo will be having a Flag Drill Team Clinic that will coincide with the tryouts. All interested participants (experienced or not), are encouraged to attend the clinic but it is not mandatory. This clinic is a great opportunity to be introduced to Flag/Drill Team, and if you have experience, it will have a lot of information on tuning you and yourself up to perform at the top of your level.
Due to the current shelter in place guidance for California, we have postponed our Flag Team Try Outs for 2020. Please be on the lookout for new dates on our website and social media!
Got Questions? Please contact:
Gilroy Rodeo Flag Team Coach/Coordinator