Great American Horse Drive returns to Maybell on May 8 after two-year break |

Great American Horse Drive returns to Maybell on May 8 after two-year break

Eli Pace
The first wave of riders rolls through Maybell during the 2018 Great American Horse Drive. After a two-year break, the horse drive will return again on May 8.
Craig Press archive

Hundreds of horses will make their way through Maybell on May 8 for Sombrero Ranches’ 61st Great American Horse Drive.

The event will mark the return of a longstanding tradition after COVID-19 forced a two-year hiatus.

According to organizers, the horse drive will bring an estimated 600 ranch horses through the heart of Maybell, and this year’s is expected to be the most well attended yet.

The horses come through Maybell anytime between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. May 8, though most usually arrive mid-morning.

Visitors are encouraged to stick around after the horses make their way through town, as there will be a lunch, bounce houses, local vendors and live music in Maybell Park.

“The Maybell Women’s Club has put together an amazing Heritage Day celebration in the Maybell Park this year” said Erin Musser, a Maybell resident. “We are expecting our largest crowd ever for the 61st anniversary of the Great American Horse Drive.”

All of the events in the park are free, and the public is welcome to enjoy the small-town hospitality throughout the day.

“Come and have fun,” Moffat County Commissioner Don Broom said. “This is a true Western experience, even after all the years that I have been part of the drive, I still find it to be quite the sight to see all those horses coming through Maybell.”

Horses make their way through scenic Moffat County during the Great American Horse Drive in 2019.
Craig Press archive

The horse drive also is being framed as a great opportunity to explore Moffat County, including the Sand Wash Basin where wild horses roam.

Additionally, there will be the Where the Hell is Maybell bike event and the Sand Wash Enduro Sprint Motocross on the same weekend.

The Craig to Maybell bike ride on U.S. 40 will be May 7, and the Enduro Event in Sand Wash Basin is set for May 7 and 8.

“This will be a great week to start our summer season,” said John Husband, chairman of Visit Moffat County. “We will be celebrating Moffat County’s Great Northwest Tourism Week, Dig a Little Deeper starting May 5. We are very fortunate to have so many quality events right here in Moffat County.”

Cowboys ride through the herd watching for any horses that need extra attention during the Great American Horse Drive.
Craig Press archive

Organizers are warning spectators that using drones during the horse drive will be dangerous, and visitors are asked to leave drones at home.

Organizers also suggested that anyone who wants to watch the Great American Horse Drive should plan to get to Maybell early enough to park safely out of the way of the horses, wranglers. and the cowboys and cowgirls who are working this herd to the Craig ranch.

As a result, parking will not be allowed on U.S. Highway 40 between the two Maybell town signs on the west and east end of town. This is a fairly new restriction.

Additional parking in Maybell has been arranged, and volunteers have stepped up to help direct everyone to the best places to park.

“The parking restrictions are needed to ensure safety for all participants” said Lt. Chip McIntyre of the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office. “More people are expected to see the horses than any other year and the new parking provisions will enhance opportunities for everyone to have a great view.”

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