Area horsemen enjoy club showdeos

Wednesday, September 12, 2001
Rector Saddle Club members ride in the annual Labor Day parade.(Democrat photo/Anne Winchester)

"Good family entertainment where friends can get together and share a love of horses," is how Melissa Gibson describes the Rector Saddle Club. Named for a fun show of rodeo skills, the "showdeo" is the Saddle Club's monthly warm-weather gathering.

"The Rector Saddle Club holds a showdeo once a month starting in April and ending in October," Gibson explained. "It's for all ages we have a lot of youth that ride in our showdeos. There are different events, competitions, and different age groups competing on horses. There are nine different classes with three age groups."

The Saddle Club is indeed fun for all ages and boasts a membership of 42 families. "There is a yearly membership fee of $10 per family," Gibson said. "We hold monthly meetings from November through March at the Parkside Restaurant. There we discuss new events that we want to add to our showdeos that year. We have members from all of the surrounding areas. In addition to our Rector members, we have some from Piggott, Paragould, Lafe, Marmaduke and even Missouri.

"You have to be a member for the showdeo points to count, so people join several different clubs," Gibson explained. "All area saddle clubs have their own point systems. We have plaques awarded at the end of the year based on our point system. You get plaques for first second and third place in different events.

"The Rector Saddle Club is involved in several area parades the Kennett parade and the Rector Christmas and Labor Day parades. Our big event for the year is the Rector Rodeo, which is called the Bull Bust and Barrel Race," Gibson said. "That has been our main event for years. The Bull Bust is contracted by GABR Rodeo Company. They provide between 20 and 30 bull riders being bucked off of the meanest bulls. Most people, when they go to a rodeo, go to see the bulls."

The Bull Bust is held Friday and Saturday nights on Labor Day weekend. "Saturday night we had good attendance probably one of our biggest crowds in the last few years," she said proudly.

"The money from all events goes for the maintenance of the arena, and we're trying to raise money for a new concessions stand. We're also trying to plant trees around the arena so it won't be so hot.

"We have fish fries throughout the year for all of our members and families. We also have a clean-up day where the kids bring horses to the arena and play while the adults clean up. Some of our other activities this year included giving pony rides during the June Fest and a farm auction during the spring. We're talking to someone right now who's interested in renting our arena to put on a kid rodeo a few times a year possibly organizing one as early as October.

"We want people to know that the Rector arena is open to 4-H groups and anyone who would like to ride," she said. "It's there for the community.

"Our next showdeo at the arena will be at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15. Those are really fun, but the gathering and the friendship are what's really great about the club. Everybody that's a member enjoys riding horses and it's a common interest. People like to talk about their horses to each other. We had a representative from Fort Dodge, a drug company, last year to talk about intestinal care of horses, and members can talk to other members about horse care."

Officers of the Rector Saddle Club are:

Mike Murray, president; Butch French, vice president; Ray Carter, treasurer, and Gibson, secretary.

Anyone interested in joining the Rector Saddle Club may contact Gibson at 597-2759.

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