OCTOBER 2, 2013

First time wild horse taming event and 4D barrel racing scheduled for Wild West Days

Miss Wild West Days competition Friday, Nov. 1
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CAVE CREEK – Cowgirls of all ages who know how to rope and ride will compete for the title of Miss Wild West Days on Friday, November 1 at 8 p.m. at Harold’s Corral in Cave Creek. Each entrant will be interviewed and asked a series of questions about their western lifestyle and also be required to swing a lasso on stage. The winner of Miss Wild West Days will receive the Miss Wild West Days crown and sash as well as prizes and cash. Interested cowgirls are encouraged to visit wildwestdayscavecreek.com/events/ms-wild-west-days and click on the registration form.

Along with several exciting horse events, 4D barrel racing will be featured in the arena on November 2 for the first time ever at Wild West Days. Registration begins on Saturday, November 2 at 2:30 p.m., time-only runs at 3:15 and racing at 4 p.m. in downtown Cave Creek.

wild horse tamingAlso a first for Wild West Days is wild horse taming, where three cowboys will show the crowds how a bronc is tamed. First, a horse is loaded into a bucking chute where it is haltered. Next, a team of three cowboys ready themselves for the release of the horse into the arena. These cowboys are known as the shankman, the mugger and the rider. The shankman's responsibility is to tightly hold to the lead rope and apply leverage to allow the mugger safe access to the withers, which are the horse's shoulders. The mugger, once safely to the withers, attempts to hold the halter and prevent or slow down all forward motion of the horse. The rider's goal is to effectively secure the saddle to mount and ride the horse with the ultimate goal of crossing a designated finish line. All of this happens within two exciting minutes.

The wild horse race started in the early 1800s and was one of the original three events in rodeo, the other two being bronc riding and steer roping. This rodeo event, which was created prior to the organization of the ProRodeo Cowboy Association in 1936, began as a competition between ranches to see which had the best cowboys.

What is referred to as the wild horse race actually was a functional ranch activity whereby the early cowboys started horses, trained and prepared them for the cattle drives.

In 1973, 53 brave cowboys in a Cheyenne, Wyoming barn, took fate into their own hands to prevent the extinction of the sport by forming the Professional Wild Horse Racers Association. This association created rules and regulations to protect cowboys, horses and to preserve the integrity of the traditional wild horse race.

Safety equipment is essential to the sport for athletes, both human and equine.

Wild West Days, now in its 11th year, is an annual experience hosted by the Cave Creek Merchants & Events Association. This year’s title sponsors are Sanderson Lincoln and Sanderson Ford on Bell Road. A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit local non-profit and horse-related organizations, which help to preserve the community’s Western heritage.

For an updated, comprehensive list of scheduled events and activities visit www.wildwestdayscavecreek.com.

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