An equestrian competition unique to the Rim country provides cowboys and cowgirls a stage to showcase their in-the-saddle skills.
The "Open Ranch Horse Competition," summer saddle and buckle series will be held July 17 and Aug. 14 at the Payson Event Center. The first in the series of three events was held June 10.
The event is being brought to Payson by Zach and Vanessa Gibbs, owners and operators of Gibbs Performance Horses in Camp Verde. Call the Gibbs at (928) 301-1143 for more information.
RCMS gridiron camp
A youth football camp, open to students in sixth through eighth grades will be held June 27 to June 30 on the Rim Country Middle School multipurpose field. Each day's session begins at 7 a.m. and wraps up at 12:30 p.m.
According to RCMS coach Jimmy Oestmann, the focus of the camp will be on learning the offense and defense schemes the athletes will use at RCMS and when they reach Payson High School.
"We'll also do agility, conditioning and some classroom work," Oestmann said. "On the last day of the camp we'll have passing league and a mini-tournament."
Joining Oestmann on the coaching staff will be Jon Gunzel, Pat Stone, Mike Loutzenheiser and Mark Henning.
The camp fee is $50 and there is a $5 discount for families with more than one child participating. Registration was held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. June 20 at RCMS. After that date, the fee is $55.
All campers should wear T-shirt, shorts and football shoes. Participants should also bring a pair of running shoes and a lunch or snacks to each practice. Call (928) 474-4511 for more information.
Diamondbacks visit Rim country
The Arizona Diamondbacks Training Center will host a softball as well as a baseball camp July 11 to 15 at Rumsey Park. The camps are open to players 6 to 12 years of age. Call (800) 821-7152 for more information.
RMEF to host annual banquet
The Payson Chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has issued an invitation for Rim country residents to join in on the festivities at the annual RMEF Big Game Banquet to be held July 16 at the Mazatzal Casino. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. for a no-host happy hour. The dinner, filet mignon, chicken or vegetarian, will be served at 6 p.m. Auctions and raffles will be held later in the evening.
According to RMEF spokesman Phil Daugherty, one firearm will be given away during the evening for every six to seven persons in attendance.
This year, Payson has been chosen as the chapter to auction the much coveted Arizona Game and Fish Commission buffalo tag. The hunt, which can be done on any day of the year, is on the House Rock Ranch.
Also to be auctioned is an elk or mule deer hunt on the Navajo reservation.
Daugherty said there also will be other hunts, camping equipment, archery, limited edition prints and ladies items raffled and auctioned during the evening.
Tickets priced at $70 for a single or $110 per couple are available from any RMEF member. The price also includes a membership in RMEF.
The local chapter is also in need of volunteers to serve on various committees and to participate in work projects.
For tickets or to help with RMEF, call Daugherty at (928) 478-4458 or Bill Masters at (928) 472-6186.