The following information is provided as a historical outline of our Padre Junipero Serra Ride, its origins and some of its traditions.
One of the longest running traditions of the Padre Junipero Serra Riders is the belief that we've never had a bad ride. We're dedicated to the notion of having the best time possible among the best group of guys you can find. This year will not be an exception!
COLONEL A.C. "ACE" BOWEN Colonel A.C. "Ace" Bowen, founder, leader, friend, spirit. He was and remains all of these to this ride. In all ways this ride is a continuing dedication to his vision and spirit in establishing our ride and the traditions we maintain to this day. Ace's "can do" attitude served him well when he was assigned the monumental tasks of establishing a water use policy for Camp Pendleton and much of Northern San Diego County, a policy which in many ways remains the model still in use today. His contributions to the continuing equestrian and western traditions of Camp Pendleton resulted in the base rodeo grounds being dedicated to his name in June of 1982. His name will always be associated with the Padre Junipero Serra Riders, what we stand for, and how we conduct ourselves. The traditions and history of this ride bear his stamp and we honor him by our continuation of that tradition into our future.
PADRE JUNIPERO SERRA RIDERS (“LAS TORTUGAS")
The roots of our ride were originally established by Victor H York of Whittier, California, along with a select group of men which included Colonel A. C. Bowen, the then Los Angeles County Sheriff Peter Pitchess, Retired Los Angeles County Sheriff E. W. Gene Biscailuz, the soon to be Attorney General of California, Evelle J. Younger, and a number of current and retired U. S. Marine Corps personnel.
The first trek took place in the spring of 1959 on Camp Pendleton . The ride was then known as the "Camp Pendleton Ride," with its purpose to promote camaraderie among its members and financial support for the annual Navy Relief Rodeo at Camp Pendleton, California .
The ride continued to be held each spring on board Camp Pendleton until 1967 when the ride went on a brief hiatus. The 1964 ride saw Boyd Fury elected president and the name changed to "The Vic York Ride," in honor of Victor H. York.
In 1975, Ace Bowen enlisted the help of some of the past members of the organization and a young cowboy named C.A.P. "Cap" Crowl. With Cap's enthusiasm and Ace's experience and leadership, the trek was rejuvenated and scheduled to "ride again" in the spring of 1976. The trek was again re-named, and to this day remains, the “Padre Junipero Serra Ride”. “Las Tortugas,” or the turtle, was officially adopted as our" symbol.
The traditions handed down from the predecessor organization continue to this day. These include the gymkhana (all around cowboy competition), gourmet food service, evening campfires with musical entertainment, on trail beer stops, our association with the U. S. Marine Corps and the type and quality of friendships made over the years on our rides.