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Gambler’s Cow Adds Fun Competition to Fall Festival

A new event added some fun and excitement to the annual Hometown Fall Festival in Penn Valley Saturday. The Fall Festival hosted at the Penn Valley Community Rodeo Grounds featured a traditional pumpkin patch and scarecrow contest along with a number of local vendors, great food and entertainment. A highlight of the day were two rodeo style events- the youngsters attempted to ride a sheep for as long as possible in the Mutton Bustin competition: and the adults compete in the Gambler’s Cow and skilfully navigate a group of cows through an obstacle course.
Jim Carlson and his wife Nancy are past champions.

Listen to Jim Carlson

Saturday’s course had the teams manuever the cows into a chalk circle and hold them for three seconds; the next had the cows do a 360 around a barrel. Another obstacle has participants move the cows through a zig zag between two poles. The other four obstacles moved the cows through an L shapped pen, and a straight pen, and then two sets of short jumps. Carlson says it takes skill to work the cows from horseback.

Listen to Jim Carlson

Gambler’s Cow organizer and manager at West Coast Equine Sports Therapy, Alyssa Mayo, says the partnership with the Penn Valley Community Rodeo Association makes the event even more special.

Listen to Alyssa Mayo

All of the particpants are local ranchers and horse lovers. There are no professional cowboys. However, with 22 teams paying 100 dollars to compete Saturday, the winning team took home 1100 dollars.

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