Rocky Aguilar. Photo: Courtesy of Anastasia Tan
Rocky Aguilar. Photo: Courtesy of Anastasia Tan

Rocky Aguilar was born on Nov. 25, 1924 in San Gabriel and passed peacefully on March 16, 2015 in San Juan Capistrano. Aguilar, a Gabrielino Indian, was in the U.S. Navy for 12 years prior to owning horse stables in San Gabriel, Azusa, Glendora and Chino. In 1958, Aguilar began boarding horses in San Juan Capistrano. He owned Rocky’s Capistrano Corral for 30 years, until 1988. Aguilar was a part of the San Juan Capistrano community for more than 60 years and rode in the Swallows Day Parade for decades. He also trained the original horses for Medieval Times, for TV shows like “Bonanza,” and for celebrities, including Shirley Temple Black. During his lifetime, Aguilar taught more than 1,000 children how to ride horses.

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comments (7)

  • R.I.P. Rocky and thanks for the many happy days you gave many of us and our horses when we were young, growing up in San Juan and hanging around your stable all day (now the Shea Center site). May your heaven be filled with many good horses and great riding.

  • Kika Wattenburg

    We used to go to the stables every day after school and he would let us ride the horses after helping feeding,brushing the horses,etc.We would ride down the “River Bottom” and explore,so much fun! Thank You Rocky for the great memories RIP

  • I used to ride my yamaha 80 thru little Hollywood,go past Joe alacorns house,and than do a wheelie past his stables,later on he and I got a long good.I use to chase Linda brown thru the orange groves and she would run to Rocky’s stables,we all had fun growing up in our home town San Juan Capistrano.

  • Kimberle Myers O'Bryan

    So many special childhood memories of Rocky! He was always onry, kind, tough and fun! I think most of us that had horses back then, kept them at Rocky’s at one point or another. We always had to do the chores before riding. My dad would say “don’t ride down the creek bed to the beach!” And Rocky would wink at my behind his back and say “I know you aren’t wearing that bikini under your shorts for us ole Cowboys, but tell those surfer boys you can go further on a horse than on a wave!” RIP dear Rocky, you are part of San Juan’s history!

  • He was a good friend to my father… He will be missed

  • I used to clean the stalls, walk the tired rental horses 8 hours a day just to ride the tired horses ( my favorite, Brownie) for an hour at the end of the day. I never minded it then, I just wanted to RIDE! Thanks Rocky for a lifetime of memories! You were old back then! I am glad you got to live such a long life!

  • Rocky taught me to ride, helped my mom with her horses, and was so patient. That is until he decided the only way to get a stubborn horse’s attention was…if you knew him, you know the answer! Condolences to those he leaves behind. Aho.

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