By Betty Williamson
Many summer evenings of my youth were spent in the bleachers of the old Mounted Patrol Arena in Portales watching my calf-roping brother and dozens of other young cowboys and cowgirls honing their skills in weekly Little Wrangler rodeos.
That almost half-century long Roosevelt County tradition kicked off again this week with a number of changes since I was last there.
Little Wranglers now operates out of the considerably-more-comfortable indoor arena at the Roosevelt County Fairgrounds, according to Larry Powell, who has been active in the association since 2006 as a parent and board member.
Powell said almost 100 horse-loving kids from ages 6-19 participated last summer, gaining experience and earning points for prizes like saddles, spurs and buckles.
A “lead-line program” established last year brought out 25 younger children and first-time riders to participate on horses led by adults.
Each Wrangler can saddle up for four events, ranging from barrel racing, pole bending, and goat-tying to break-away roping, tie-down roping, and team roping.
The association hosts rodeos each Tuesday and Saturday evening, with practice sessions at 5 p.m. and competitions at 6. It’s not too late for new buckaroos to sign up—Powell welcomes calls at 760-1630 from those who want to learn more—and spectators are welcome at no charge to all events.
One thing hasn’t changed since I was a kid — “It’s a family-oriented deal,” Powell says.
Betty Williamson’s best rodeo events are nacho wrestling and drink guzzling. You may reach her at: