Horse drive in Moffat County kicks up fun for all | CraigDailyPress.com

Horse drive in Moffat County kicks up fun for all

Noelle Leavitt Riley

Domestic horses are taken from one ranch to the other at the Great American Horse Drive Sunday in Moffat County near Maybell. The horses are domestic and are owned by Rex Walker who runs the Sombrero Ranch near Browns Park. This year, nearly 500 horses were taken from the Browns Park area to a ranch roughly 12 miles west of Craig.

The Great American Horse Drive made its way through Maybell on Sunday, entertaining hundreds of spectators as nearly 500 horses were driven from one ranch to another in Moffat County.

Each year, Sombrero Ranches hosts the drive where people from across the world saddle up to take horses from a ranch near Browns Park to a summer pasture roughly 12 miles west of Craig.

"I like seeing the kids. It's fun," said Zane Bishop, 17, who is the grandson of Rex Walker, owner and operator of Sombrero Ranches. "God blessed us big time."

He was dressed as Zorro on horseback, handing out real coins to children and spectators as the riders made their way into Maybell.

Zane Bishop's mother, Freda Bishop, said she feels equally blessed to have grown up in a family that offers such fun to the community.

"It's a family deal. The community loves it. It's a lot of fun," she said.

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Walker beamed with pride as he watched horses, cowboys and cowgirls drive his horses through Maybell.

"It's great to be out in the West," he said. "We like the people and the Western tradition."

This year, patrons from Holland, Belgium and Germany — and many other foreign countries — traveled to Moffat County to help drive the horses from one ranch to the other, Walker said.

About 50 people helped with the extravaganza, and those who make the entire trip get a Gate to Gate buckle when they complete the horse drive, Walker said, noting that about 95 percent of participants get the buckle.

Participants pay nearly $2,500 to the Sombrero Ranch for the wild West experience, according to the Sombrero website.

The drive started in 1962, and gains popularity each year. It takes two-days to take the horses from one pasture to the other.

Sanne Timmers travels from the Netherlands in Europe to Moffat County each year to participate in the drive, and she had a blast this year, she said.

Contact Noelle Leavitt Riley at 970-875-1790 or Contact Noelle Leavitt Riley at 970-875-1790 or nriley@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @noelleleavitt.Contact Noelle Leavitt Riley at 970-875-1790 or nriley@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @noelleleavitt.