Cactus Series Events Help Earn Points

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Dennis Fendler/Roundup

The ladies get first crack at the arena at the Payson Event Center when they open the Gary Hardt Memorial Spring Rodeo at 7 p.m., Thursday, May 14. The gates open at 5 p.m. and admission is a can of food to be donated to the Payson Senior Center.

When the Cactus Series program comes to the Payson Event Center at 7 p.m., Thursday, May 14, expect to see some world-class athletes.

The women will compete in a number of events, including barrel racing, breakaway roping, tie-down calf roping and team roping.

It is expected 75 contestants will be competing for a share of the $8,000 pot.

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.

A number of current and former world champions are scheduled to participate.

Kim Williamson of Phoenix will be here. She is a 2008 WNFR qualifier in breakaway roping, team roping — heading and heeling, and tie-down calf roping. Williamson is also the 2008 WNFR Finals All-Around Champion.

Other top competitors expected to take part in the May 14 contests at the Payson Event Center are Tammy Lewis of Queen Creek, another top roper; Jolee Lautaret, who is a national qualifier in barrel racing and will compete in all events; and her sister, Dolli Lautaret, who is a former world champion heeler in team roping.

The event is expected to last about three hours with so many great athletes taking part, so bring a blanket or two to keep away the chill on the grandstand in the night air.

Admission to this great event is only a can of food, which will be donated to the Payson Senior Center.

Gates open at 5 p.m. Competition starts at 7 p.m.

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