Kaprice Bachtell’s equestrian background is a perfect fit for her new job as the Payson Event Center coordinator.
In overseeing PEC, she must direct and coordinate countless town offerings that involve horses and livestock including rodeos, two-person team sortings, the weekly 7D barrel and pole bending series, team ropings, the annual Cowboy Tri, breakaway clinics and gymkhanas.
Nary a day goes by that Bachtell is not at PEC supervising and managing those types of events that help preserve Payson’s western heritage.
Bachtell took over the coordinator job on Dec. 1, 2009, replacing Charlene Hunt, who had taken a position as a secretary for the Payson Police Department.
Almost immediately Hunt gave her seal of approval to Bachtell, predicting she would quickly round into a top-notch coordinator.
The new coordinator moved to Payson about a year ago from Apache Junction.
There, she was involved in a variety of events including the Lost Dutchman Rodeo, Ben Johnson Days, Superstition Horsemen’s Association, 4-H, parks and recreation trail rides, the sheriff’s posse and several gymkhanas.
Bachtell says her parents moved to Arizona when she was 8 and that marked the beginning of her introduction to life on horseback and in the arena.
As a youth, she followed her parents around the state as they participated in team ropings and on an equestrian drill team.
During those years, she says, she attempted to learn everything she could about rodeo competition.
Bachtell claims she never had any doubts that she wanted to someday make her living around horses and other livestock.
So, when she learned of the PEC coordinator opening with the town, she immediately applied and was soon hired.
“My job is great, I love it,” she said.
“I love to be involved in the community which is what this job is all about.”
She also says her door at the Green Valley Park P&R offices is always open and she wants to hear from those who use the event center.
In taking over from Hunt, Bachtell inherited a number of events to supervise including the Arizona State High School Rodeo Association championships last weekend and the Arizona Junior High School Rodeo finals today and tomorrow, June 18 and 19.
About 175 young cowboys and cowgirls showed up for the high school rodeo and she expects close to 100 for the junior high competition.
She also helped host her first Loggers Sawdust Festival when it was held June 5 and 6 at PEC.
Upcoming events include the Gracie Lee Haught Rodeo, Jim Barrett Memorial Rodeo, the Old Time Fiddlers Festival and the Demolition Derby.
Probably the biggest challenge of her new job will be helping put on the granddaddy of all Rim Country attractions — the World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo on Aug. 19 to 22.
Even though Bachtell inherited a comprehensive number of events when she took the job, she’s spent the last few months trying to attract even more to PEC.
Among those she’s lured to town is the Moto Madness motocross competition and show on July 2 and 3.
She also hopes to attract an outdoor expo, the Grand Canyon Rodeo Association, the All-Indian Rodeo Cowboys Association and secure outdoor sales giant and specialty retailer Cabella’s as a PEC sponsor.
“I’m working on those,” she said.
To reach Bachtell, call (928) 474-5242, ext. 260.