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"Why don't we use the themes of fellowship, a lovely country and a lovely time of the year down in Santa Barbara County, but make the horse the central motif of it?"
The Rancheros Visitadores or the "Visiting Ranchers" is a social club in the United States. It has members from across the United States, with most originating from the central and western United States. The group meets on ranch land in Santa Barbara and embarks northward on a 60-mile (97 km) journey across the countryside after receiving a blessing at the Santa Ynez Mission.
The group was founded by John Mitchell, son of a Chicago bank president, Naval Aviation Serviceman in World War I and husband to Lolita Armour of the meat-packing industry. Mitchell was a member of the exclusive Chicago club but also the Bohemian Club. It was after returning from a two-week Bohemian Grove encampment that he discussed with some friends about forming their own version. This led to the creation of the Rancheros and began with the first full ride in May 1930.
Ranchers until the 1860s would drive cattle to nearby Missions, where they would meet other driving groups, move to the next Mission, until all the cattle were brought to market.
- ↑ John Mitchell in Neill C Wilson. 1955. Los Rancheros Visitadores: Twenty-Fifth Anniversary. Rancheros Visitadores. pp.17-8
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