Horsemen present Fourth fun |

Horsemen present Fourth fun

After serving as an annual staple in the western Nevada County sports scene for the past 47 years, Penn Valley’s prized rodeo apparently is no more (See story Page A1).

But as any area rodeo fan knows, there is still plenty of equestrian sports action springing from the gates each week in Grass Valley.

Nevada County Horsemen Inc. has presented equestrian sports for area fans since its inception in the 1950s, when the 30 men of the Nevada County Sheriff’s Posse – then considered the area’s elite horse organization – opened the association’s activities to the entire family at the urging of their wives.

And it’s been a family affair ever since.

This Sunday, NCHI hopes to have families flocking to its Brunswick Road grounds for an annual Fourth of July tri-tip barbecue and the first NCHI $1,000 added American West Barrel Racing event.

“We’re telling everyone to beat the heat and come on out to watch, have a bunch of fun and … there’s free watermelon,” said NCHI President Sunny Francis, who added admission is also free for fans, with the only entry fees being charged for contestants.

Time-only runs will hit the ring from 8:30-11:30 a.m.Sunday, while the Open competition begins at 12:30 p.m.

Francis said for those who already have plans for the Fourth, there will be plenty of other opportunities to take in a variety of equestrian action.

NCHI hosts a weekly barrel racing competition each Wednesday, with registration opening at 5:30 p.m., and a Team Penning competition with sign-ups starting at 6 p.m. every Saturday.

Later this month, the Big Bad Bulls Rodeo hits the NCHI grounds on July 30, followed by a full slate of rodeo action one day later.

Horse shows are also held every third Sunday of the month, Francis said.

For more information on NCHI or its events, please call: Vicki Reed (Team Penning) 432-1171, Bernie Molloy (Barrel Racing) 271-2054 or click onto

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