Summer Of Equestrian Events Kick Off This Weekend

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Rim Country equestrians will have plenty of recreational and competitive activities this summer, thanks to the Mogollon Montoneras and Payson Parks and Recreation specialist, Charlene Hunt.

On the Montoneras' agenda is a series of six jackpot gymkhanas that will be held April 28, May 12, June 9, July 14, Aug. 25 and Sept. 22 at the Payson Event Center.

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Pole bending will be one of the activities offered at the upcoming Mogollon Montonera jackpot gymkhanas and the town-sponsored 7D series.

Payson Parks and Recreation Department will again host the 7D barrel and pole bending events that have proven popular the past several summers.

The 7D events are scheduled for Wednesday evenings, beginning May 2 and wrapping up July 25.

Some dates could be changed, due to holidays or the spring rodeo, Hunt said.

Competition begins each Wednesday evening at 6:30 p.m. at the Payson Event Center. Books open at 5:30 p.m. and there is an entry fee of $5 per event.

"This series will be a 7D format, where you will compete against time and not age groups," Hunt said.

At the conclusion of the series, awards will be presented.

In the Montonera-sponsored gymkhanas, contestants will compete in a jackpot series in which there will be no year-end rewards, but pay out will increase after each event.

Equestrians compete in age groups including 6 and under, 7 to 9, 10 to 13, 14 to 17, 18 to 30, 31-years and over and lead line.

The April 28, May 2 and Sept. 22 clashes begin at 10 a.m. The June 9, July 14 and Aug. 25 events will tip off at 5 p.m.

Each competition will feature barrel racing, pole bending and a specialty event, such as "Big O," "Waterglass," "Big T" and "Butterfly."

For those unfamiliar with the Mogollon Montonera organization it is a nonprofit group, run solely by volunteers. Which means members and their families will be asked to assist with the production of the events, including setup, breakdown and working the entry/exit gates.

The Montoneras have long been a huge part of Rim Country culture.

Also on the equestrian agenda will be a monthly series of 4H Horse Club shows for the younger age groups.

For more information about 4H, call Lani Hall at (928) 474-4160. Call Megan Ward at (928) for information about the Montonera Gymkhanas and Hunt at (928-) 474-5242, ext. 7 for the 7D barrel and pole bending series.

Copies of rules and guidelines for the 7D series are available at Parks and Recreation offices located at Green Valley Park.

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