Deanna Floeter and her horse Meriah prepare to barrel race at the Black Mountain Junior Rodeo Series on Wednesday at Moffat County Fairgrounds during the 2014 Moffat County Fair.

Sasha Nelson

Deanna Floeter and her horse Meriah prepare to barrel race at the Black Mountain Junior Rodeo Series on Wednesday at Moffat County Fairgrounds during the 2014 Moffat County Fair.

Black Mountain Junior Rodeo offers thrills at 2014 Moffat County Fair

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— Area horsemen and women ages 2 and older were at the Moffat County fairgrounds on Wednesday evening to participate in the Black Mountain Junior Rodeo Series.

The series, now in its eighth year, was started by Lorae Moon and is now run by Beverly Salazar and her team of volunteers.

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Sasha Nelson

Riders warm up their horses to participate in the Black Mountain Junior Rodeo Series.

The rodeo is gymkhana-style or a multi-game equestrian event performed to display the training and talents of horses and their riders.

“We offer a safe environment with knowledgeable folks who are willing to help with advice and education,” Salazar said.

Riders compete in barrel racing, pole bending and flag racing. Local business sponsorship allows organizers to provide prizes.

“We try to select tack such as headstalls, spurs and blankets things that young horse riders can use,” Salazar said.

The event is of high importance to participants.

“Horses are her whole life,” Dan Floeter said about why he and his daughter Deanna participate in the rodeo series. Deanna and her horse Meriah competed in their first rodeo season. “She’s the first generation in our family to ride,” Floeter added.

According to Salazar, about 45 to 50 racers run the barrels during each rodeo. At last night’s event that number was up slightly with people participating and attending the Moffat County Fair.

“The public is welcome to come out and get involved. We encourage anyone who wants to come out to watch or to participate,” Salazar said.

“We are here to support our grandchildren,” Jo Cashion said. “I enjoy watching the tiny little kids.”

“It’s a good family oriented event,” said Cashion, who was enjoying a picnic dinner in the stands before her grandchildren raced. Her husband, Al, enjoyed watching the rodeo for the thrills and spills. “It’s like watching Nascar. You watch to see if someone is going to wreck,” he said.

The Black Mountain Junior Rodeo Summer Series will end Wednesday. Salazar is working to organize a winter series using the indoor arena at the Moffat County Fairgrounds. Cost to compete is $5 per event or $15 for the night. Sign-up begins at the announcer’s box on the south side of the main arena at 5:30 p.m. with competition starting at 6 p.m.

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