When it comes to challenges inside the show ring, this year’s Town and Country Festival doesn’t end with bull riding. The rodeo is back again this year, but there’s also a horse show on the agenda.
Competition for horse and rider is scheduled throughout the day Saturday, June 28, at Wakefield Park. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. and the first round of competition gets underway at 11 a.m. There is no charge for the public to watch.
Riders will lead their animals in up to four events: pole bending, barrel racing, flags and down and back.
Some events start with riders 10 years and under. Others begin with an 18 and under limit. Prizes are awarded in each division.
Festival organizer Sue Snyder has sent flyers to 4-H groups and others in hopes of attracting area riders.
The horse show will be operated by the rodeo group in the competition ring they set the day before for bull riding and barrel racing. Rodeo events are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. June 27.
Last year marked the first time a rodeo was included with the Town and Country Festival and it proved to be a popular event, Snyder said.
A different rodeo company—the new Stars and Scars Rodeo from the Fayette area—will bring some new events to the Friday night show.
This year’s entertainment includes a dollar scramble for children age five and under and a boot race for youngsters ages six to 12.
For the real action, bull riding and shoot doggin’ competition will feature competitors from teenage through adult.
In shoot doggin’, a competitor leaves the shoot with a steer and attempts to wrestle it to the ground.
Stars and Scars will provide three bulls from Professional Bull Riders stock. In addition, Shilo Walden of Clayton will furnish about a dozen bulls.
In addition to riding and wrestling bulls, competitors will test their skills in barrel racing on horseback.
There’s more than the rodeo for festival fans on Friday. The Little Prince and Princess contest starts at 6 p.m. and arm wrestling is scheduled at 9:30 p.m. Carnival rides will operate until 11 p.m.
Saturday events include horse shoe pitching, a corn hole tournament, ladder ball, hot dog eating and the festival parade.
Morenci Idol, the Battle of the Bands and the Red Hill performance are also on Saturday’s lineup, along with the annual fireworks show.
On Sunday, the Morenci Idol winner will be chosen. Other events include square dancers, cloggers, cheerleaders and BMX racing.