Maybell comes alive with 40th anniversary horse drive

Maybell is once again gearing up for the Sombrero Ranch Horse Drive, where people are invited to witness more than 600 horses driven through the town's main street as they are moved from their winter range back to the ranch.

Each year the event grows into a larger tourist attraction, and this year, with help from the Moffat County Tourism Association, dozens of photographers, families and friends will make the event a big part of their Sunday.

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"We're saying the activities will run from 10 (in the morning) until about 4 in the afternoon," MCTA Director Shelly Flannery said. "With all the arts and craft vendors, food booths and live music, there will be plenty for everyone to do."

The normally quiet Maybell Park will have children's games to go along with roping and mustang demonstrations and music by the Yampa Valley Boys.

Queeda Mantle-Walker will be signing her book about homestead life on the Yampa River, as crowds line the street awaiting the arrival of the horses.

This year the horses will be stopped for a short time in Maybell for watering and photo opportunities.

The 50-mile horse drive actually takes a couple of days, with 25 cowboys and helpers pushing the herd from Browns Park toward Maybell on the first day, and camping out overnight.

The second day of the drive has the herd stopping in town before heading east down U.S. Highway 40 to the Sombrero Ranch near Lay.

The horses are rounded up to prepare them for working at dude ranches and riding schools during the summer, and hunting camps in the fall.

The round up and drive started 40 years ago and is one of the largest events to take place in Maybell each year.

A good starting place to learn about the drive, Flannery said, is at the Museum of Northwest Colorado, where dozens of photographs from previous drives are currently on display in the upstairs gallery.

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