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Dorothy Rogers and California Classics
 Steeped in the traditions of the Pacific Slope, Dorothy Rogers, herself a Californiana, was selected to be the Coordinator of the original California Vaquero Show. It was the first celebration of its kind. Arnold Rojas and Lou Hengehold hosted the event held at the historic Mill in Santa Paula. The Ca Vaquero Show, and those who participated, helped to revive the interest in the legendary California bridle horse. The distinctive style, elements and dedication to time-honored methods developed in Africa, Europe, and perfected during the mission period on the vast ranchos of the New World began a renaissance now reaching around the world.

While teaching full time, Dorothy served as the Equestrian Project Officer for SLO County with the Chamber of Commerce. She staged events, ranch tours and developed the Equestrian Guide while acting as a liaison with the equine community. As a native Californian, she taught classes and helped with the good work of the Rural Crime Prevention Task Force of the SLO Sheriff's Department. 

Practical application of seat to saddle came in the running of a cow/calf operation as well as taking day work on local ranches. This gave her an appreciation for "an all day seat" built in a saddle. She was a partner in a custom saddlery for over 15 years and has also associated with master silver smiths who have given her knowledge of the finer points of traditional craftsmanship, line, balance and style.

Dorothy was the Equestrian Editor for a couple of local newspapers. She has written “Hoofbeat” for nearly 30 years. Currently she writes for the Paso Robles Magazine and periodically for equine publications. This has afforded her the opportunity and privilege to meet and know some of the world's top horsemen, their needs and preferences.

Dorothy's late mother was a fine tailor and costume designer trained in the European school. She designed some of the apparel made and carried at California Classics in the past. Her father, Roy Rogers, cowboyed the ranches of the Southwest and California. He possessed an innate ability with animals. This has left Dorothy with an ever present desire to learn more about working with her horses and dogs and seeking out those who have dedicated themselves to the development of this relationship.

Dorothy with bridle horse Glory

Riding bridle horse Kit in a parade

Doctoring cows

Shop History

California Classics was started in 1994. Dorothy and the talented artists, artisans, and craftsmen she gathered together created and located mid to upper end horse gear and leathercraft, premium silver for horse and human, limited edition silk scarves, wool vests, and other apparel, collectibles, decorator items, fine western art and specially selected music, books, videos and gifts for the CC store in town. These were hand selected in an effort to enrich the lives of ranchers, cowboys, charros, horsemen, aficionados, working buckaroos, visitors from around the world, or those who just want a touch of the West. There were wonderful concerts held in the "Outback" with friends and superb entertainers such as Dave Stamey, Tom Russell, Juni Fisher, Katy Moffatt, Belinda Gail, Brenn Hill to name but a few.

In late 2008, the store front was closed giving CC a new and even more traditional focus. Time on the ranch allowed for more research into what has worked for centuries. Central Coast Ranch Rawhide with its unmistakable "life" and flex is now made on-site at the ranch for custom rawhide and roo braiding. CC leather gear has expanded to include personal items and gun leather for the competitor or hunter made by Aaron Winchell.

We are "preserving traditions as old as the West" both here and abroad while progressing toward the future with the with the help and blessings of many good friends and Our Lord.

This was taken during a visit from our friend, judge, author and fine bridle horseman, Dick Deller.

A long rope man, Aaron was raised in California growing up in construction. He spent time working in saddle shops and a working buckaroo as he honed his skills and developed his eye for refinement. This provides customers with his first hand expertise when making durable, yet beautiful, gear for a variety of horses and climates. His rolled and flat headstalls are hanging in saddle sheds and homes. Some have already been designated for museums and Halls of Fame. His California braiding is sought after for Heritage Hackamores, bosals, reins, hondas, etc. Ernie Morris has kept a watchful eye on his development as a classic braider of form to function Central Coast gear.

Aaron is a perfectionist, so speed is not his forte. If it is worth doing, it is worth doing well. Making your custom items correctly and traditionally accurate is his pride. So is California Classics' support of the agriculture of the Pacific Slope. 

In addition to being a perfectionist, Aaron has little use for idle time. 2017 was a tumultuous year for him, with Valley Fever, a ruptured bicep, surgery and therapy all bringing his rawhide work to a virtual halt. Rather than stop working and settling into what many would consider a "normal" recovery, Aaron decided to start a new merchandise line while he works on getting back to his rawhide work. In 2018, we are pleased to offer his new creation - the California Classics no-pinch "Barrel" snaffle. Each snaffle is hand-crafted and beautifully finished by Aaron. Be sure to visit our bits page to see more about this new product! Plans also call for the start of bridle bits (and ornamentation) of the Pacific Slope at Dorothy and Aaron's new home outside of Paso in the heart of the vaquero culture.

Thank you

Thank you for coming to visit California Classics. Call with your special needs. Don't miss your dallies, and if you schedule a trip to California, don't forget to contact us and we will roll out the trade blanket for you. At California Classics you are only a stranger once.

CC Bosal

Copyright 1996-2019.
All information and screens appearing on this Site including documents, services, site design, text, graphics, logos, images and icons, as well as the selection and arrangement thereof, are the sole property of Dorothy L. Rogers unless otherwise specified.
Except as otherwise required by applicable law, any reproduction, distribution, modification, retransmission, or publication of any copyrighted material is strictly prohibited without the express written consent of the copyright owner
All rights not expressly granted herein are reserved.

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