P&R To Host First-Ever Fall Stampede

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The inaugural Fall Stampede, a gymkhana-style event for horseback riders of all ages, is expected to draw entrants from around the state.

Slated for Oct. 2 at the Payson Event Center, the stampede is sponsored by the Payson Parks and Recreation Department.

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Barrel racing is among the events in the Fall Stampede. A host of other competitions also will be held.

Recreation specialist Charlene Hunt has put together eight events sure to test riders' skills and horses' training and obedience.

Among the standard events in the stampede are barrel racing and pole bending. To those, Hunt has added keyhole, hurry scurry, big T, quadrangle poles, speed ball and a rescue race.

Among the most unusual is speed ball. In it, competitors ride for 100 feet in a straight line before coming to a traffic-style cone. While still aboard their horses, riders must turn the cone and at the same time drop in a golf ball. They then return, at full speed, to the original starting line.

In keyhole, entrants gallop their horse 100 feet into a chalked keyhole figure where they must expertly turn and exit without touching any of the lines.

The hurry scurry event requires horses and riders clear three 18-inch jumps, ride around a pole and return 150 feet to the start.

Entrants will compete in one of five age groups: 8-years-and-under, 9 to 12, 13 to 17, 18 to 39 and 40 and over. Prizes, including trophies and ribbons, will be given in each age group. A high point award also will be given.

The entry fee is $5 per event or $25 for all except the rescue race.

On the day of the stampede, books will open at 8 a.m. and the first event begins at 10 a.m.

Pre-registration may be completed at the parks and recreation office at Green Valley Park through 5 p.m. Oct. 1.

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