Stephanie Pearce: Good western fun with friends, family
Every summer evening seems to be packed with something for our family. I truly don’t understand when I hear people say that their kids are bored and have nothing to do because we are always on the go. This week alone, I’ve taken my daughter to something every night.
One of the most fun events that we do is the Black Mountain Jr. Rodeo Series at the Moffat County Fairgrounds on Wednesday nights. It is just a fun night where people of all ages, babies to grandparents, ride their horses and compete in events such as barrels, poles and flag races. It is some great family fun.
It costs each contestant $5 per event, but the little kids love it because they receive an envelope back with the times they completed each event and their place for their age group and inside the envelope is money. Even if you don’t win an event, you get a portion of your $5 back. The little kids think they have “won” something. It’s pretty cute watching them open their envelopes.
They start with the barrel race competition with the youngest age group first. This age group is so cute. The most entertaining is watching the parents with their children. You’ll see all these young moms and dads so full of energy leading their kids through the barrel pattern running ahead of the horse on foot. These are some committed parents, I think, as I watch them run around the barrels while their children bounce on the saddle attached to the horse behind them. The children laugh and squeal with excitement as they trot along. Some of the parents are pretty athletic and impress the heck out of me. I would be on another horse leading the horse, not running on foot. If you see me running, you better run too because something big and bad would be chasing me.
As the contestants get older, the runs get a little faster. Some of the older participants are just doing it for fun. Others are keeping their horses in shape for rodeo and working out any kinks they might be having or training new horses.
You’re entertained with ponies with short little legs running the patterns to Clydesdales doing their best to turn a tight turn around the barrels. It’s pretty entertaining overall.
Flags are where the kids run in on their horses and grab a flag out of one bucket and head to the other side of the arena and throw the flag into another bucket. If you miss picking up the flag or your flag doesn’t make it into the bucket, you get a no time.
Pole bending is where six poles are placed in a row 21 feet apart and the rider weaves the horse in and out of the poles. If a pole is knocked over, five seconds per pole is added to their time. If the horse breaks the pattern, the rider receives a no time.
I’m so glad we started participating such events. It’s given us great family time and fun times meeting new people.
If you’re ever bored on a Wednesday night around 6 p.m., come down and check it out. You’re sure to be entertained.
Following the Memorial Day weekend, one of Moffat County’s signature events will be continuing into the summer.