The whole family had the opportunity to get a taste of cowboy life at the National Day of the Cowboy the past weekend. About 1,200 people braved the heat to attend the free event at the American Quarter Horse Association Headquarters according to the AQHA.
Tom Persechino, AQHA spokesperson says it was a chance for new experiences, and to learn something new.
“Many folks come for the chance to pet a real, live horse, and for the opportunity to take a free horseback ride. We also hope that, through this event, we can educate families about the benefits of the western lifestyle and owning an American Quarter Horse,” says Persechino.
Kids of all ages enjoyed making their own ropes and learning how to rope cows. Some tried their hand at the junior rodeo hosted by Pokey the Clown. They raced to deliver the mail on stick horses, milk a wooden cow and brand wooden calves. The rodeo champions earned the right to compete at the WRCA junior rodeo world championship in November at the Amarillo Civic Center.
Folks also enjoyed blacksmith and doll making demonstrations, as well as a chance to cool off inside the museum, where they left their mark on a Center City Quarter Horse statue that will be displayed in Amarillo. Kids found story time and puzzles in one room and practiced riding quarter ponies in another.
After the free hot dog lunch, kids enjoyed the main event – a free ride on an American Quarter Horse. More than 175 youngsters were lead on American Quarter Horses through a trail course by volunteer horse handlers.
The National Day of the Cowboy campaign was founded in 2004 to preserve, protect and promote the cowboy and our Western heritage. The campaign lobbies for the passage of the national resolution designating the fourth Saturday of every July a permanent celebration on the national calendar. The campaign believes in honoring cowboys and cowgirls for their enduring contribution and their courageous, pioneering American spirit. For more information on the scope of this national event, go to: nationaldayofthecowboy.com.