BURLINGTON, KS--September 2, 2014--The Burlington Promotion Committee has teamed up with the Ultimate Horsemen’s Challenge Association (UHCA) to design a distinctly western event to usher in the fall season. The event will be held October 4–5, 2014, at Kelly Park and the Coffey County Fairgrounds in Burlington, KS. Admission is free to all activities.
Activities will begin early on Saturday with the Masons Breakfast at Kelly Hall. Both a tractor show and a car show, the latter presented by Poor Boy Rod Club will be ongoing until 3:00 pm. Food and craft vendors will be set up in the 4-H building as well as outdoors.
The Burlington Promotions Committee is excited to team up with the UHCA.” According to Promotions member Salli Stewart, the committee feels this event will breathe some new life into the Taste of Fall Festival. "We have kept some of the activities from past years, but have added new things and feel there will be something for everyone" says Stewart. "Moving the event will also be new to the festival. We will have some new challenges but we hope the positives will outweigh any negatives we encounter."
The popular Kansas River Gang will perform reenactments at noon and again at 2:00 pm. The Kansas River Gang is a traveling group of melodrama performers that bring the wild-west back to life with mock gunfights and humorous skits from the 1800s. They will certainly set the tone for the cowboy-themed celebration.
Live music will begin at 12:30 pm on Main Stage with Jill Warren-Wagoner and Jason Wagoner followed by JJ Edwards, Katie Rich and Johnny Freeman. At 2:30 pm, the Wagoner’s will take the stage again followed by the Kirchner Family, Tara Glades, and Rachel and Jaycee Belcher.
There will be no shortage of fun activities for kids. The Coffey County Museum will be featuring Pioneer activities and the Burlington Jaynes will present a Baby Show in Kelly Hall. The Coffey County Library will host Story Time and adventurous kids can participate in a Hay Dig. The Coffey County Sherriff’s Department will be sponsoring Buck-a-Roo family games at 2:00 pm followed by Kids Races at 4:00 pm.
For those with an interest in the arts, the Emporia Art Center Art Mobile will be on site. Pumpkin decorating and a talent show will allow attendees to demonstrate their creative abilities as well.
On Saturday, starting around 9:00 am, UHCA will host its final challenge of the season in the Rodeo Arena and adjacent field. In this fast-paced event, a horse and rider team must maneuver through a series of obstacles, while demonstrating skill, finesse, horsemanship and speed. A score is given for each obstacle on the course and riders are judged on overall horsemanship.
Some of the obstacles encountered at a UHCA event are things that a rider might routinely experience while trail riding or working on a ranch, while others are designed to test a horse’s or mule’s reaction in an unfamiliar situation. UHCA welcomes riders of all levels, providing eight challenge divisions suitable for all breeds of horses and mules. The event is co-sanctioned with the Extreme Cowboy Race Association (EXCA) and will be one of the last opportunities to earn qualifying points for the upcoming EXCA World Championship in Hamilton, TX. Some of the most talented extreme cowboys in North America will be on hand competing. Three UHCA members placed in the top 5 at the invitation-only Calgary Stampede Cowboy Up Challenge in July.
“This event would be an excellent opportunity for local horsemen, horsewomen, and horse kids to try their hand at the sport of extreme cowboy racing. Whether you are a young Buckaroo just starting out, a Novice wanting to improve your skills, or a seasoned professional looking for a new challenge, we provide an opportunity to compete against others of similar ability,“ said Kate Fowler, UHCA President.
Attendees and competitors will want to stick around after the race to watch the Flint Hills Mounted Shooters Jackpot. The shoot will begin after the UHCA event is complete on Saturday afternoon. Cowboy Mounted Shooting is the fastest growing equestrian sport in the nation. Mounted contestants compete in this fast-action timed event using two .45 caliber single action revolvers each loaded with five rounds of specially prepared blank ammunition. Racing through challenging courses that include elements of barrel racing, pole bending, and wild-west action, the shooter with the fastest time and fewest missed targets wins. The Flint Hills Mounted Shooters club is affiliated with the Cowboy Mounted Shooters Association (CSMA) and was formed in 2011 to promote the sport of mounted shooting.
The activities continue on through Sunday starting with Cowboy Church at 8:00 am, led by David Kraft, Range Management Specialist from Gridley, KS. The public is welcome to attend the cowboy-style worship in Kelly Hall--boots and spurs not required.
At 9:00 am, The Midwest Ranch Horse Association (MRHA) Competition will begin. The MRHA was organized to give cowboys a venue to showcase their using horses while exchanging ideas and techniques they use in training these horses. Contestants complete in three segments or activities: dry work/reining, cow work, and roping. In the dry work/reining segment, riders are judged on their ability to perform rollback, circles, lead changes, stopping, backing and spins. Cow work consists of boxing or holding a cow at the end of the arena, and turning a cow down the fence in both directions. The objective is to demonstrate control of the cow. The final segment is roping, which is judged on how well the rider and his/her horse demonstrate proper roping mechanics.
Immediately following the MRHA Competition, spectators will be treated to a Working Cow Dog Demonstration from local cattleman, Beau Beyer.
“The community has really rallied in support of bringing these exciting events to Burlington. A number of local businesses have made donations to help make these events possible,” said Jim Ochs, UHCA Treasurer and Coffey County resident. “We really appreciate the support and interest the community has displayed for the celebration and hope that it generates positive economic impact for the city of Burlington.”
On a final note, Ochs added, “we welcome anyone that is interested in these events to attend and participate. We are always looking for new riders and spectators won’t be disappointed with all of the fast-paced action these events will provide.”
For more info contact:
Burlington Promotions Committee, Burlington Recreation Center, 620-364-8484
Ultimate Horsemens Challenge Association, Jim Ochs, 620-343-5234, www.ultimatehca.com
Flint Hills Mounted Shooters, Kate Fowler, 785-845-6891, www.flinthillsmountedshooters.com
Midwest Ranch Horse Association, Dwight Bylik, 918-349-2325, https://www.facebook.com/MidwestRanchHorse