Gymkhana's Season Comes To An End


The dust has settled, the season's curtain has fallen and the champions of the Mogollon Montoneras Gymkhanas have been crowned.

Each Saturday over the course of the past six months, the competitors gathered at the Payson Event Center to test their riding skills in three gymkhana events.


Melissa Daniels is among those who competed in the 2004 Gymkhana championships and the Fall Stampede Saturday at the Payson Event Center. Daniels competes in the 18 to 39 years age group and was a sixth-place finisher in the gymkhana series. In the Fall Stampede, she was second.

"We had barrels, poles and one funny event," Mogollon Montoneras President Megan Ward said. "We had a pretty good turnout -- about 75 contestants."

The monthly "funny events" are unique challenges that differ with each gymkhana.They can include events like "hurry scurry" or "rescue race."

For Ward, who has been competing in gymkhanas for about 20 years and whose mother was a Montoneras before her, the real thrill in the competition is watching the riders improve.

"It's really neat to see them when they first come in and how much they progress," she said.

At the conclusion of the campaign last week, Ward and the Montoneras organization presented the five age-group champions with saddles. Second-place finishers were awarded buckles and those who took third received headstalls. Fourth-place finishers were awarded horse blankets and those in fifth picked up spurs. Boot bags were doled out to those in sixth place.

The age-group champions included Chelsie Stodghill (7 to 9-years), Candace Bullard (10 to 13), Jordynn Runzo (14 to 17), Chancy Brown (18 to 30) and Lori Brown (31-years-and-over).

The champion of the 6-years-and-under age group, Bryce Stodghill, received a buckle.

The really young set, known as "Leadliners" in gymkhana lingo, all received a halter and lead road.

Leadliners, or those on top of a horse usually led through the events by a parent or other adult, included Daylen Brown, Emily Daniels, Addie Parker, Bryndee Hall, Mercedes Miranda and Tate Parker.

Other age group finishers:

7-9 years

2nd: Emma Randall

3rd: Taylor Randall

4th: Cierra Tidwell


2nd: Amber Marshall

3rd: Skye McNeeley

4th: Bailey Randall

5th: Cydney Figueroa

6th: Whitney Matthews


2nd: Jessie Alhandy

3rd: Sami Novak

4th: Tiffany Klemstine

5th: Annie Klemstine


2nd: Shelbi Parker

3rd: Lindi Parker

4th: Riley Miller

5th: Jessie Brown

6th: Melissa Daniels

31 & Over

2nd: Melanie McNeeley

3rd: Peggy Randall

3rd (tied): DeeDee Stodghill

5th: Margaret Parker

6th: Paula Waterman

6 & Under

1st place: Buckle - Bryce Stodghill

2nd place: Headstall - Brooks Randall

3rd place: Blanket - Ali Tenney

4th place: Breast Collar - Brylee Hall

5th place: Spurs - Kara Ward

6th place: Boot Bag - Cassidy Tidwell

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