Play Days are contesting events hosted by the various area cowboy churches. The one we went to was held at Jr and Brandey’s church, just around the corner. The contests are open to anyone and are held more for practice, fun and fellowship. They are usually the same format. Age groups are 0-6 assisted (usually led—this is Alyssa’s group—she’s three, but the youngest contestant was 18 months), 0-6 unassisted, 7-12 (this is the twins’ age group—they will be 8 on Tuesday), 13-18, 19-35, 36-49, 50 and up. The events are poles (weaving between poles going and coming), straight barrels (weaving between three barrels in a straight line going down and back), a special event—last night it was running down the arena to and around a barrel and back, and regular barrels (weaving figure 8’s among three barrels set in a triangle). Events are timed by the horse crossing a photo sensitive light that trips the timer and stops it as the horse returns. Fastest time wins. Seconds are added for poles/barrels you knock down. If you “break the pattern” you get no score.
For the girls the routine is this:
wait for Daddy to saddle horses and help you up
ride to the contestants’ area and wait your turn
If you are not competing, you hang out with the old people.
These pix show the girls at pole bending. Most people yell at the kids to hold on. We yelled at Jr to run faster!
Emma and Rusty putting on the speed.
Ava and Lady The horse should lead with the left foot as it turns left, then switch, leading with the right foot to turn right. If it doesn’t it throws the horse off balance and can make it lose time.
Between events, you wheedle slushies from your mom while you wait. If you’re older, you eat your slushie then hangout with the other contestants.
Alyssa goofing off.
Another fun thing to do between events.
Coy likes playing with Baw (his way of saying Paw).
This trip was long—320 miles, 5 hours round trip. We left at 1 pm and arrived home at 12 am. Was it worth it? A picture speaks a thousand words.
Next, find out what we did on Fathers’ Day.
Louise and Duane