By Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer
It’s called a Playday because the competitive pressure is off if you choose, and it’s a chance for both horse and rider to get involved in an organized riding event with fun awards for the winners.
Playday is sponsored by the Cattle Capitol Cowbelles local chapter. Laura Southard, of the Cattle Capitol Cowbelles, said the members promote the beef industry and ride in several different parades.
The Playday is designed for recreational riders and competitive riders of all ages for various events, including: Barrel racing, pole bending, flag race and stakes race.
“We wanted to offer these events for local riders and make it affordable,” Southard said. “We want everyone to have a good time and come out and ride.”
The Playday has events for the novice/recreational riders and for the competitive riders. There are five age groups: 8 and under, 9-13, 14-17, 18-40 and 41 and over.
There is a $3 fee per event or a $20 fee for all of the rides. Organizers will begin taking entries at 9:30 a.m. and the events will start at 11 a.m.
The speed events for the five age groups are challenging for competitive riders while the walk/trot are for recreational and novice riders. Southard said in the walk/trot classes, riders will be disqualified if the horse breaks into a lope any time during the class.
Southard said in the flag race, riders must race to one end of the arena, go around a barrel and grab a flag in a bucket. She said in the stakes races there are two poles and riders must make a figure eight around the poles in a timely fashion.
There will be prizes for high-point winners and ribbons for placing first through sixth. Southard said Cowbelle members are hoping Playday will be a success and they can hold more of these events in the future.
There will also be a raffle, $1 to enter, to win a brand new silver headstall for a horse from Joe’s Boot Shop in Clovis. Southard said employees from local businesses in Clovis and Portales donated prizes for the high-point winners.
“We want people from Farwell, Friona, Bovina and other places to come,” Renee Johnson, Cattle Capitol Cowbelle member, said. Johnson said horse enthusiasts can have a hard time finding trails, terrain or events in which to participate in Roosevelt and Curry counties.
“It’s very tough,” Johnson said. “Unless you show or compete in rodeos, you can’t find a place to ride your horse. This gives people a chance to ride their horses and not have to drive far.”
Southard said there are about 12 members in the local chapter group from eastern New Mexico. She said they ride in Pioneer Days in Clovis, Eastern New Mexico University Homecoming parade, Heritage Days in Portales and were in the Welcome Home Troops parade in Portales in March.
“We’re trying to offer the Playday so people can enjoy it and it doesn’t cost very much money,” Ruth Moore, Cattle Capitol Cowbelles’ member, said.
The concession stand will be open with food and drinks for riders and spectators.