Charlene Hunt’s eight-year tenure as the Payson Event Center recreation coordinator ended Oct. 11 with the annual Cowboy Tri Fall Stampede.
She’ll now turn her attention to her new duties as a Payson Police Department administrative assistant.
“I am looking forward to having nights and weekends off so I can work my own horses and compete in next year’s programs,” she said. “I’ve had awesome years working at the facility.
“It has been an incredible ride watching the inexperienced youth and adult riders get their confidence and compete with the best.”
For the Cowboy Tri, 60 equestrians of all ages turned out to showcase their cow punching skills.
“We had a good turnout and great weather,” Hunt said.
At the conclusion of a day filled with spirited competition and small-town camaraderie, Hunt crowned all-around winners as well as champions from the past summer’s team sorting, team roping and the Turn ’n’ Burn pole bending series.
Albert Hunt, Charlene’s husband, rode and roped his way to the high point male championship. Sally Willis garnered high point female honors. High point senior accolades went to Kenny Calloway. Knut Haught won the high point youth title.
Although entrants had to compete in three events to be eligible to win the all-around title, some opted to compete in four which earned them more points toward the title.
Buckle winners for team sorting were Arena Haught (youth), Peggy Randall (senior), Calloway (high point overall) and Willis (women).
Garrett Haught won the team roping header championship and Travis Stodghill lassoed the heeler title.
Buckle winners for the Turn ’n’ Burn barrel racing series were Taylor Randall, Melissa Daniels, Tracey Adams, Tony Root, Megan Brown, Tiffany Klemstine and Laci Riggins. In the Turn ’n’ Burn pole bending competition winners were Krista Kilbourne, Deanna Biesemeyer, Margaret Parker, Angie Newbold, Tiffany Klemstine, Daniels and Brown.
Following the crowning of the champions, Hunt thanked the volunteers who helped. “I can’t say enough about all of the volunteers who stepped up this year to keep the programs running despite the huge budget cuts,” she said. “Also, thanks to those businesses and individuals who have shown their support financially to keep the programs running.”
Hunt was also proud that neither a competitor nor animal has suffered a serious injury in the programs’ eight years.