Little Wranglers rodeos fun for the family

By Betty Williamson

Local columnist

Many summer evenings of my youth were spent in the bleachers of the old Mounted Patrol Arena in Portales watching my calf-roping brother and dozens of other young cowboys and cowgirls honing their skills in weekly Little Wrangler rodeos.

That almost half-century long Roosevelt County tradition kicked off again this week with a number of changes since I was last there.

Betty Williamson

Betty Williamson

Little Wranglers now operates out of the considerably-more-comfortable indoor arena at the Roosevelt County Fairgrounds, according to Larry Powell, who has been active in the association since 2006 as a parent and board member.

Powell said almost 100 horse-loving kids from ages 6-19 participated last summer, gaining experience and earning points for prizes like saddles, spurs and buckles.

A “lead-line program” established last year brought out 25 younger children and first-time riders to participate on horses led by adults.
Each Wrangler can saddle up for four events, ranging from barrel racing, pole bending, and goat-tying to break-away roping, tie-down roping, and team roping.

The association hosts rodeos each Tuesday and Saturday evening, with practice sessions at 5 p.m. and competitions at 6. It’s not too late for new buckaroos to sign up—Powell welcomes calls at 760-1630 from those who want to learn more—and spectators are welcome at no charge to all events.
One thing hasn’t changed since I was a kid — “It’s a family-oriented deal,” Powell says.

Betty Williamson’s best rodeo events are nacho wrestling and drink guzzling. You may reach her at:
pepnm@hotmail.com.