Youth bull riding in Quemado has biggest year ever

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A record 56 young contestants tried their luck on Saturday at the Quemado Community Equestrian Association’s bull riding event on June 1 in Quemado. Ten contestants were awarded just under $1,600 in awards, plus buckles. Event classes ranged from “wooly riders” — ages 6 and under who attempted to ride a wooly sheep, to senior bull riding — ages 16 to 19.

Susann Mikkelson/El Defensor Chieftain: The bull wins in this ride as young bull rider Brandon Gibson of Albuquerque makes it look easy and graceful in his dismount at Saturday’s bull riding competition in Quemado.

“It was our best year yet,” boasted Ricky Chavez, vice president of the QCEA and one of the event’s organizers. “We had the biggest turnout we’ve had since we started four years ago. I’ll bet there were 300 people there.”

Chavez is gearing up for the next event, slated for Aug. 10.

Contestant Tayson Yost of Silver City took first place in wooly riding, with Jack George of Datil coming in second. Calf riding winners, ages 7 to 9, included Kagon Zamora of Belen in first, and a split second and third between Lucas Chavez of Moriarity and Wyatt Terrazas of Chama. Quenton Wimberly of Edgewood and Shannon Terrazas of Chama took first and second, respectively, in pee-wee or mini bull riding for ages 10 through 12. Junior bull riding winners were Justin Houston of Albuquerque in first and Riley White of Magdalena in second, and senior rider Jacob Huff of Los Lunas finished it up with the only qualified ride in the 16-19 age group.

The QCEA is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization started to provide rodeo and equestrian sporting activities for area youth. The organization was granted funding from the state of New Mexico in 2009 to purchase the arena in Quemado, upgrade it, and host youth rodeo and equestrian events.

“We will continue to improve the facility and try to offer more activities to the community and the region,” Chavez said. “Our next project is to build a new announcer stand that is more up to date, and better spectator bleachers and space.”

In addition to the state funding, board members of this all-volunteer board not only work hard to organize the event, but to raise funds for the awards and other costs.

“Many thanks to our 16 sponsors this year who made this event a success!” Chavez said. “We could not have done this without them.”

Sponsors contributed funds that purchased the belt buckles, as well as helped cover other costs.

“We’re only going to get better and better,” Chavez said.

 

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