SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

He was happy with his horses, but something, a few years back, told him to work towards the El Presidente post with Fiesta and today Josiah Jenkins leads Santa Barbara's biggest event.

He set the tone for Old Spanish Days with an arrival at the President's reception on horseback Sunday night at the Fess Parker Doubletree Hotel.

"I've grown up in the horse world, and the people that started Old Spanish Days are the same one's that started Rancheros Visitadores six years later," said Jenkins.

By day, with his mother and father, Josiah runs his family business Jedlickas, a horse owners haven, in Santa Barbara and Los Olivos dating back to the 1930's.

His family is very much a part of this year's Fiesta.

"The theme I use, Vaqueros y Vaqueras,  cowboys and cowgirls," said Jenkins, "I thought what else, let's put my parents up there.  The two horses used on the poster have never been up State Street together. "

As for being El Presidente, a few years back it was not a big goal.

"After he got to thinking about it  and became middle age, I guess he decided  that it was good.  I'm very proud of him," said his mother Karen Jenkins.

When it comes to horse riders, and the Ranchero days of years gone by,  "I think it's a significant part of California," said Si Jenkins, Josiah's dad.  "Everyone used to have horses before the automobiles and everything.  We're still maintaining a lot of that tradition."

This year the parade on Friday will have over 600 horses in it and a crowd of more than 75,000 spectators.

2013 Slideshow: El Presidente Josiah Jenkins

POSTED: 10:46 AM PDT Jul 30, 2013    UPDATED: 12:00 AM PDT Aug 02, 2013 
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