Wild Bunch rides into Magdalena
Welcome back to the wild, wild West! Magdalena is turning back the clock to the glory days of cowboy life. The Wild Bunch Association Rodeo will gallop into the Magdalena Stockyards, Saturday, May 12, and Sunday, May 13. Rodeo admission for either day costs five dollars per four person carload. Tickets to the Saturday night dance run five dollars and children under six will be admitted free.
Magdalena cowboy fun
The event is a significant celebration for the Magdalena community. “We’re excited to host the event,” said Mayor Sandy Julian. “This will bring people to the village, and benefit our local economy. The Association also provides educational help to our community, which is greatly appreciated.”
Martin Welledo, president of the association says its members have roots in Magdalena that run deep. “Most of us are guys that grew up in Magdalena in the 70s and 80s. Even though the association in based in Albuquerque, this is where we come from.”
The Committee for the Restoration of the Village of Magdalena Rodeo Grounds also appreciates the importance of the event. Over the last few months, El Defensor Chieftain reported on volunteers spending many man hours refurbishing the stockyard, repairing pens, the grandstand, along with generally sprucing up the grounds. The hope is that Magdalena will be an attractive locale not only for this rodeo, but many others.
Z. W. Farnsworth, who is a member of the group, and is also vice president of the Magdalena Chamber of Commerce had this to say:
“We’ve put a lot of effort in restoring the stockyard, making it once again attractive and presentable. We’re hoping this is an encouragement for more events like this, promoting those good, wholesome values that the ranching life is all about. This symbolizes, too, the positive values of the community coming together to make things better.”
Saturday’s youth dedicated competition begin with books from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., with events beginning at 10 am.
On Sunday, the day starts with Cowboy Church at 9 a.m., followed by books from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m, and adult competition starting at 11 a.m. Fees range from 45 dollars to 100 dollars per event.
A jam-packed weekend of events is guaranteed, with a rodeo queen pageant and Saturday night dance, featuring The Yarbroughs and JT Music. Western dance aficionados can strut their stuff for a chance to win the 100 dollar prize. Area food, leather and jewelry vendors will be on hand as well to round out the bill.
The schedule of events starts with Saturday’s youth competition, featuring mutton busting, duck cutting, flag racing, youth barrel competition, cowhide race, grudge foot race and an open division fiddle contest. Sunday’s competition for adults include a cowboy ranch race, saddle bronc, ladies’ barrel racing, roping, bull riding and an arroyo three-man horse race. All competitors will receive a handcrafted belt buckle and a souvenir.
The Association is a non-profit group of modern-day cowboys and cowgirls who want to celebrate Western culture, youth education opportunities and provide youth a full-fledged rodeo experience.
Rodeo benefits community
According to the association’s press release, the scholarships are to be distributed among Magdalena, Quemado and Alamo students, and the goal of their events is to “keep the Western way of life alive as well as their values and old-fashioned morals.”
According to Welledo, “We want young people to know and understand the importance of ranching and farming as a way of life. We’re here to get kids interested in this.”
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