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KYKC 100.1 FM Sponsors Chuckwagon Races & Cowboy Festival
Aug. 1-3, 2003

BRYAN COUNTY— Wagon teams will soon be rolling in to Oklahoma competing in the Bite The Bullet Chuckwagon Races August 2-3. Races take place at the Sunview Ranch, Gary Shipman owner, north of Durant off Hwy 75/69 in Bryan County. While races kick off at 1 p.m. on Saturday the 2nd, the Sundowner Cowboy Festival starts Friday night and runs through Sunday with the racing finals following that afternoon.
This is the first sanctioned chuckwagon racing course established in Oklahoma, one that can handle the rough and rugged sport of team racing using horses and mules pulling traditional buckboard wagons.
Chuckwagon racing is not new to Oklahoma, says Gary Shipman owner, “but we are the only sanctioned course in Oklahoma.”
Racers can only participate if they are a member of the Arkansas Chuckwagon Racing Association (ACwRA). All racers must belong to the association and race by ACwRA’s racing rules and standards. Racing divisions include: 46” Mules; 46” Ponies: 52” Mules; 52” Ponies; Big Mules; Big Horse; Buckboard; and Classic Wagon. Membership dues are $15 and each wagon team member must be an association member. Chuckwagon racers can join the association the same day of the race, cost is $15 per person with a cost of $5 to race.
Growing in popularity, the sport of chuckwagon racing, Shipman believes, will put Oklahoma on the chuckwagon racing map. So much so, he’s dedicated 300 acres of his 3,100 acre ranch near Armstrong, Oklahoma to host such a huge event.
“It’s sporting, exciting, unpredictable and that’s what people like about it,” Shipman said.
While races are not happening, there’s plenty to do and to be entertained.
The Sundowner Cowboy Festival brings event guests a great line-up of cowboy and cowgirl singers, poets and storytellers. Look for jackpot horse races, a trail ride, pasture dance, pasture ranch rodeo, the Blue River Wild Man Horse Race (a daring race of man and horse down the hill) and cowboy church on Sunday morning.
Great tasting cowboy food prepared in traditional cowboy fanfare is definitely something to look for..and wait on if you have the patience to watch a Dutch oven cook over an open fire. “The chuckwagon cook-off will give everyone a chance to sample traditional cowboy trail cooking and we’ll have a number of western vendor booths to visit,” said Kay Hall, publicity coordinator. Judging takes place at 12 noon on Saturday with chuckwagon food available for purchase.
Races start Saturday at 1 p.m. The actual number of races depends on how many racers enter the day of the race. “There’s somewhere about 50 to 60 racers already pre-registered,” said Donald Derrick, ACwRA, board chairperson. For example, 25 or 30 races run 50 or 60 teams.
“We’re looking forward to bringing this level of chuckwagon racing to Oklahoma,” said Shipman. After the finals are over on Sunday, Shipman says sponsors, advertisers and others are invited to a first meeting to begin forming Oklahoma’s own chuckwagon racing association—OCwRA.
Hookup the horse trailer , pack a tent and bring the lawn chairs. There’s dry camping for tents and travel trailers, which campers can set-up as early as Wednesday. Day spectators need to bring lawn chairs and pitch a small tent for the day (no extra charge on day tents). Camping $20 per person (three days), Food drinks and water available for purchase. Adults $12 per day, children age 5 and under get in free, and groups rates are available. Tickets available at the gate, or by visiting Texoma Ford of Durant. Sponsor information available by calling 580-436-6351, or vendor information call 580-937-7440. Dogs welcome, but must leashed at all times. ###
Directions: Hwy 75/69 North of Durant, take the Armstrong Exit, go east 1/1/2 miles to Pleasantville Road, go 1 1/12 miles to Sunview Ranch (watch for signs).
Event’s Schedule
Friday Aug 1, 2003
7:30 p.m. Cowboy Singing & Poetry
Eli Barsi, Robert Joe Vandygriff, J.W. Beeson,
Kata Hay, Lanny Joe Burnett & Carl Thurlo
Saturday, Aug 2, 2003
8 a.m. Pasture Ranch Rodeo
10 a.m. Cowboy Singing & Poetry
12 Noon Chuckwagon Cook-off
1 p.m. Chuckwagon Races
3 p.m. Jackpot Horse Races
3:30 p.m. Chuckwagon Races
5:30 p.m. Blue River Wild Man Horse Race
7:30 p.m. Cowboy Singing & Poetry
10 p.m. Pasture Dance
Sunday, Aug 3, 2003
8 a.m. Trail Ride
10 a.m. Cowboy Church
12:00 Noon Parade of Wagons
1:00 Chuckwagon Race Finals
Presentation of Awards
1 p.m. Chuckwagon Race Finals
Presentation of Awards
Day Pass—$12 (under age 5, free)
Camping $20 per campsite, 3-days
Group Rates Avail. 8 or more***