Happy Trails With Dawni O'Bryan: I Am Not Falling for It


By Dawni O'Bryan

September 28, 2022

I admit it. I absolutely love summer and being outdoors. So, when fall rolls around and the temperatures start to dip, I have to pull myself up by the boot straps and forge onward. For many, a break from the heat is a welcome change and they are happy to put on a sweatshirt and gloves. For me, it is shorter days, less horseback riding, flowers wilting, less time with my animals, and my attitude needs an adjustment. I can say I am not falling for it, but really do I have a choice?

The Holly Gateway Fair is the last fair in our area and a symbol that fall is upon us. Fair board member Lacy Seufer, It was a week full of activities and the border town welcomed folks from all over to join in or be an onlooker of all of them. Sunday was the 4-H horse show and open gymkhana. Tuesday was one of the largest events of the fair in the team roping with 174 teams competing for prize money.

Taking top honors was Mitch Bazzell from Goodwell, OK and Jorge Cruz from Kansas on the four-header with a time of 28.10 seconds and filling their pockets with $1009 each. Coming in at second place was Norris Patton and OT Edwards with a time of 33.58 seconds, netting them $835 a piece. Third place was YD Descheny and Austin Crist with a time of 34.23 seconds and $626 each. Fourth place saw Bazzell get in the money again with Ty Spickelmier with a time of 34.42 seconds and $452 a piece. Fifth place was Brandon Seufer and Justin Crist with a time of 43.66 seconds and $313 each. Sixth place was Clay Mecklenburg and Spickelmier with a time of 48.02 seconds and $243 each. It was a beautiful warm fall evening for friends and neighbors to gather and enjoy this local tradition.

Wednesday evening saw the temperatures drop into the 50’s with a brisk north wind and the coats came out as the ladies took to the arena for the Southeast Colorado Can Chasers Holly race. There were five peewee riders and taking the top spot was Cambrie Crum. The youth division had eight riders and first place in the first division (1D) was Hollyite Taelyn Seufer with a time of 19.274 seconds and $115. The 3D was won by Aspen Hawkins with a time of 27.785 and $77. The open competition of 35 riders was dominated by Kenzie Rush with a time of 17.385 seconds ($491) and she was the only one in the 1D. The 2D was won by Talara Coen with a time of 17.958 and $210, the 3D was won by Dawni O’Bryan with a time of 18.463 seconds and $140, and the 4D was won by Jo Statham with a time of 18.925 seconds and $105. Cody Johnson, Tori Hawks, and Leeann Ridley kept the event running smoothly and it wrapped up by 9 pm.

Zak Gardner of Vilas will be demonstrating his chainsaw art carvings at the fair on Cheyenne Street and some will be available for purchase. Friday will have a breakaway roping with $1000 added, and Saturday the ranch bronc riding will take place. Saturday evening will feature JUDI (sponsored by TBK Bank) providing music for the dance in the livestock barn.

As the colors are starting to change and yellow, orange, and brown slowly replace the green, continue to meet, greet, and enjoy the small town living of southeast Colorado and western Kansas. It truly is the best life around. I will work on my attitude and learn to like pumpkin spice. There is nothing as stable as change.

Happy Trails.

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