Siblings July and Tara Jones and their trusty steeds Turtle Dove and Freckles prepare to compete in the Chaves County 4-H & FFA Horse Show at the Sheriff’s Posse Arena, Saturday. Mark Wilson Photo
There was a great deal of horseplay taking place Saturday evening at the Chaves County Sheriff’s Posse Arena as the annual Chaves County 4-H & FFA fair opened with the horse show.
The Barn Buddies 4-H club produced winners in three different age groups at the show.
Eight-year-old Tara Jones and her horse Freckles took first prize in the Booster division. She said her horse’s familiarity with the poles portion of the competition made it easy and the most fun part of the day for her. “My horse already knows that good,” she said. “And it was fun.“
In the novice division, 12-year-old July Jones took first place with his horse Turtle Dove. He said he enjoyed the speed of the barrel portion of the competition, but said he had a little trouble maneuvering his horse during reigning, which required the riders to turn their horses in a series of circles.
“It’s hard,” he said. “You have to memorize your patterns and it’s confusing and (Turtle Dove) got a little excited.”
In her last horse show as a youth, 18-year-old Chaundra Jones won first prize overall in the senior division atop her horse Digger. She said she enjoyed showing off her skills maneuvering her horse.
“My favorite part was the Western riding,” she said “Just because of all the lead changes.”
While this was her last time competing at the 4-H and FFA fair, she said she’s not done with horseback riding for good.
All three are children of Dirk and Tricia Jones and residents of Roswell.
In the junior division, 13-year-old Nathan Blackwell, of Hagerman, won top honors with his horse Dunny. He said the reigning portion of the contest gave him some trouble, but he was able to overcome that and take first prize. He is a part of the Country Kids and the son of Buck and Marquita Blackwell.