Casey Tibbs and War Paint, symbols of Gilroy's famous Gymkhana Rodeo, began in 1929 as a life-size plastic model of a cowboy on a bucking bronco, they stood on top of old Halls Department Store downtown for more than 50 years. Gilroyans and tourists alike had grown attached to this trademark of Times Gone by and although Hall's closed its doors in the early 1990s Casey Tibbs and War Paint watched over downtown many more years and about 10 years ago the iconic pair disappeared. This iconic duo is a Gilroy trademark and our inspiration for the Gilroy Rodeo logo.

When passing by the corner of Monterey and 6th street you can still see the mounting brackets where they once stood. We have heard that Casey Tibbs and War Paint may have gone home to be on the range, but their whereabouts still remain a mystery.

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View of the old Gilroy Gymkhana Grounds with its 5,000 bleacher seats was located on the South side of Casey Lane. The picture was taken approximately 1955. The Gymkhana lasted from 1929 to 1956, with a parade and rodeo of a Wild West theme.

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Last Official Gilroy Gymkhana Program

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Weeks leading up to the Gilroy's annual Gymkhana the whole town would join in on the festivities.

  1. Traffic Officer: Paul Tremaine
  2. Mayor: James Princevalle
  3. Nat Heiner
  4. City Clerk: Gene Rogers


The Gymkhana was a popular event in Gilroy. The Gymkhana Arena and the grounds were located just a little north of the present athletic field of South Valley Junior High. The Gymkhana even had its own song written by Vivian Head, and sung to the tune of "Red River Valley".

Photos and information on this page courtesy of the Gilroy Museum