Pioneer Days kicks off Monday

By Tonya Garner: CNJ staff writer

Rodeo royalty, clowns and cowboys will be in attendance at the upcoming Pioneer Days.

The six-day event will kick-off at 5 p.m. Monday with the coronation of the Pioneer Days Rodeo Queen. According to pageant coordinator Wilma Fulgham, six girls ages 5 to 9 were judged on personality, appearance and horsemanship. The youngsters were critiqued on how well they can ride a horse and their ability to handle the animal for the horsemanship portion of the pageant, Fulgham said.

Following the crowning, children ages 13 and under will participate in the 31st annual Little Buckaroo Rodeo. The young cowboys and cowgirls will compete for ribbons and trophies in various horse events at the Curry County Mounted Patrol Arena.

Coordinator Karen McDaniel said the speed events will include barrel racing, pole bending and a flag race.

Residents can wear their boots and jeans and attend Cowboy Church at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

Following the worship service, Little Buckaroo participants will compete in foot events following the service. McDaniel said youngsters will race using stick horses.

A rodeo barbecue, which is open to the public, will be held at noon on Wednesday at Bender Dodge.

Thursday will feature a Rodeo Encounter, where residents will have the opportunity to mix and mingle with rodeo talent.

Autographs and demonstrations will also be available.

The 36th annual PRCA Rodeo will begin Thursday night at 8 p.m. and will continue through Saturday.

The Little Buckaroo Rodeo will continue on Saturday at 1 p.m. with sheep and calf riding, dummy roping and rodeo clown competitions.

“They (participants) are really cute,” McDaniel said, “and we always have a really good turnout.”

Throughout the week, 13 young women will compete for the title of Miss Rodeo New Mexico. They will be judged on poise, interview skills, public speaking, rodeo knowledge, beauty and horsemanship.

Fulgham, who has overseen the pageant for many years, said she enjoys seeing the girls blossom and develop public speaking skills as a result of the pageant.

The winner will act as a representative in her community by participating in rodeos and attending public events such as groundbreakings, Fulgham said.

Pioneer Days 2006 schedule:

• 5 p.m. — Coronation/Pioneer Days Rodeo Queen Pageant at Clovis Curry Mounted Patrol Arena .
• 6 p.m. — Little Buckaroo Rodeo, Mounted Patrol Arena

• 5 p.m. — Cowboy Church, Mounted Patrol Arena
• 6 p.m. — Little Buckaroo Rodeo, Mounted Patrol Arena

• Noon— Rodeo Barbecue Kickoff at Bender Dodge (open to the public).
• 7 p.m. — Speech and fashion show at Holiday Inn.

• 8:30 a.m.— Miss Rodeo New Mexico horsemanship competition, Mounted Patrol Arena.
• 5:30 p.m.— Rodeo Encounter, ticket for Pioneer Days Rodeo required, Mounted Patrol Arena.
• 8 p.m.— 36th Annual PRCA Rodeo, Mounted Patrol Arena.

• 7 a.m.— Sixth Annual Pioneer Women’s breakfast, Clovis Civic Center.
• 9:30 a.m.— Rodeo queens and clowns tour of area nursing homes and Plains Regional Medical Center.
• 5:30 p.m. — Barbecue at Mounted Patrol Arena.
• 8 p.m. — 36th Annual PRCA Rodeo, Mounted Patrol Arena.
• 10:30 — Dance, Mounted Patrol Arena.

• 10 a.m.— 36th Annual Pioneer Parade, Main Street
• 1 p.m.— Miss Rodeo New Mexico coronation and awards luncheon, Holiday Inn.
• 1 p.m.— Little Buckaroo Rodeo, Mounted Patrol Arena
• 8 p.m.— 36th Annual PRCA Rodeo, Mounted Patrol Arena.
• 10:30 p.m. — Dance, Mounted Patrol Arena.

Little Buckaroo Rodeo
at Mounted Patrol Arena
• Monday — 6 p.m., horse events, 13 and under.
• Tuesday — 6 p.m., foot events
• Saturday — 1:30 p.m., calf riding; 2:30 p.m., dummy roping, 3:30 p.m., mutton bustin ’(7 and under).
• Entry fee: $1 per event.

Rodeo tickets
• Box Seats: $12 in advance, $14 at the gate
• Reserved seats: $11 in advance, $13 at the gate
• General Admission: $10 in advance, $12 at the gate
Advanced tickets available at Joe’s Boot Shop, 2600 Mabry Dr.