Horses proceed along Colorado Highway 318 during the Sombrero Ranches’ Great American Horse Drive in 2010. This year’s drive is scheduled to pass through Maybell on U.S. Highway 40 between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Sunday.

File photo

Horses proceed along Colorado Highway 318 during the Sombrero Ranches’ Great American Horse Drive in 2010. This year’s drive is scheduled to pass through Maybell on U.S. Highway 40 between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Sunday.

Horse drive gallops on Sunday in Maybell

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If you go

What: Sombrero Ranches’ Great American Horse Drive

When: Between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Sunday

Where: On U.S. Highway 40 in Maybell

Sombrero Ranches President Rex Walker said he doesn’t understand the appeal of the company’s annual Great American Horse Drive.

“I’m amazed that people come up to see horses run up and down the road and I have been for 40 years, at least,” Walker said. “A lot of people like to do it.”

This weekend, the company will once again take its annual horse drive through Maybell. Spectators can expect to see the drive along U.S. Highway 40 in the town sometime between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Sunday as it moves about 800 horses 60 miles from Browns Park to a ranch near Craig.

Unlike recent years, though, the town of Maybell will not be hosting its annual Cultural Heritage Days festival in Maybell Park. Last year, the events drew 1,500 people to Maybell, prompting concerns over pedestrians being on or near the highway as the horses went through.

Colorado State Patrol talked to festival organizers about getting a special events permit, but organizers and Sombrero Ranches could not reach a deal, Rose White told the Moffat County Tourism Association board last month.

Despite the cancellation of the accompanying event, Walker said the drive would still be going through Maybell. He said this year there will be 15 ranch hands and 60 customers helping drive the herd but was unsure how the heritage days cancellation would affect attendance for the event.

“We’re not doing it for the fun of it, we’re doing it because we need to move the horses from our winter range up to our spring range where we sort them off to go to the different rental companies,” Walker said.

Walker said the days leading up to the event will be spent rounding up the horses before starting the journey Saturday. About midway, the drive will stop on Sombrero-owned property.

He said drivers nearby shouldn’t be concerned because, similar to a sheep drive, there will be a flagger in front of the herd.

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