BRAWLEY — The iconic Cattle Call Rodeo horse statues in Brawley are being replaced with newer models this week in both the Plaza and Cattle Call parks.
Originally donated to the city of Brawley by Cotton Rosser of the Flying U Rodeo, the current statues are made of fiberglass and are showing signs of deterioration, according to Carson Kalin of the Cattle Call Rodeo Committee.
The statues depict cowboy Casey Tibbs, perhaps the most famous rodeo competitor of all time, on a bucking horse. Many say Tibbs was to rodeo what Babe Ruth was to baseball. A 28-foot tall bronze statue of Tibbs riding the famed bucking horse “Necktie” was unveiled and dedicated outside the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs.
Kalin said the new statues will be bronze in color, similar to bronze statues.
“The horses have been painted different colors throughout the years,” said Kalin. “They were painted silver for the 25th anniversary and gold for the 50th anniversary.”
In 2012, Madison Allen of Brawley painted both horses to look like a real cowboy and horse for her senior project at Brawley Union High School, reverting them back to the way they were originally painted.
Kalin said one of the old statues will be donated to the Pioneers Museum and the other will be auctioned off at some point.
“That is, if they survive the demolition,” he said.
The costs associated with the removal of the statues and two replacements will be paid by the Brawley Cattle Rodeo Committee, not the city of Brawley.