SAN ANTONIO – An old South Side rodeo venue is getting new life as the San Antonio Stockyards Historical Society (SASHS) renovates the ranch that once hosted the Charros Del Chaparral Charreada.
The site in the 10700 block of South Zarzamora Street is set to host future rodeos and multi-purpose events. It will also be a free place for students in the area to raise livestock and connect with the agricultural roots in South Texas.
Bobby Acosta founded the historical society in 2018. It now serves as a nonprofit organization for youth agricultural purposes.
“Our main mission is to promote awareness to a forgotten industry that helped create pretty much Texas,” Acosta said.
Acosta said he was born and raised on the South Side and recently bought the property. His nonprofit renovates stables and pens to support local agricultural organizations like 4H and Future Farmers of America (FFA).
“I used to drive by here. I rode my bike here as a kid,” said Acosta. “We want to be able to provide stalling. Twenty-nine stalls on this property are being refurbished, and offer this up to underprivileged kids.”
SASHS board member Jerry King told KSAT that this new venue gives children in the area a new place to raise a show animal.
“If they’re in smaller towns, most of them come from a farm-type life area, whereas if you’re close to San Antonio, there’s no place to do it,” said King. “Some of the other school districts just don’t have the property in order to raise a calf or a hog.”
King and Acosta also feel the site connects the old Texas cattle culture with the future.
“Stockyards was a big part of early San Antonio, and we want to keep that memory alive,” said King.
“We’re going to keep that part in, with the Texas rodeos and Charreadas. We’re going to combine both cultures, all cultures,” said Acosta.
Acosta said his goal is to have students raise their own livestock in some of the refurbished stables by September as the site’s renovation continues. The society will host rodeos and public events to raise funds for the project.
“There’s about 50,000 underprivileged kids throughout Texas and in the United States that do not have access to any kind of program like this because they cannot afford it,” said Acosta.