When the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association programs come to the Payson Event Center Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 12 and 13, expect to see some world-class athletes.
The women will compete in a number of events: barrel racing, breakaway roping, tie-down roping and team roping.
The points the contestants earn will go toward their standings for the 2009 Women’s National Finals Rodeo, which will be held in Tulsa, Okla. in early November.
The competitors will be coming from around Arizona and New Mexico.
According to the 2009 PRCA Media Guide there are only two factors in barrel racing: the clock and whether the horse or rider tips over a barrel, which adds 5 seconds to the time.
As the horse and rider enter the arena, an electronic eye starts the clock.
The rider may elect to circle around either the left or right barrel first, then the other side, before circling the barrel at the end of the cloverleaf pattern and accelerating her horse out of the arena.
The event is often won or lost by hundredths of a second. The speed and grace of the horse worked by its rider has all the beauty of a team of dancers on a stage, except in this case, there is more than a little dust that is kicked up.
In conjunction with the WPRA events Wednesday and Thursday night, Aug. 12 and 13 — kick up your heels at two Ranch Rodeos that will feature some of the best local talent in the Rim Country.
The Ranch Rodeo events will consist of steer riding (kids 8-12), horse catching, team branding, and wild cow milking.
Admission charges are $6 for adults; $3 for children under 12; and kids under 5 are free.