Blackwell rodeo grounds get new fencing; new future

by Charles Gerian

In 1985, Blackwell's rodeo grounds received new fencing. 

Now, in 2020, that fencing is being replaced, opening Blackwell up to bigger events with the safety of riders, ranchers, horses, and cattle in mind.

Melissa Miller with the Oklahoma Youth Ranch Rodeo Association is looking forward to hosting the organization's rodeo events in Blackwell for the first time ever on May 30 and June 13 following a “Back in the Saddle” rodeo/clinic on May 23.
“The City of Blackwell has been so supportive of us,” Miller said. “Starr Lumber gave us a great discount on supplies, and Sonic even paid for our dinner the other night.” 

Miller and her husband, Russell, who is a member of the Kay County Fair Board, were working with several volunteers from the Tonkawa 4-H/Future Farmers of America chapters.

They were helping install new panel fencing at the rodeo arena, which is located on B Street. 
“This fencing is a lot more safe for everyone involved with these events and will let our 4-H kids practice events at a local level so that they are ready for district and state events,” Melissa Miller said.

Russell Miller added that the couple plans to till the grass and keep up with the arena so that it will be ready for any event with minimal notice.
“While we were working, we had a girl show up here with her horse wanting to ride,” he said.

“It was awesome to see, but obviously we had to tell her to wait because there's a lot of machinery and moving parts going into this upkeep. The 'want' is here, and the demand is here, and we couldn't be more excited to see the fair board and City of Blackwell being so supportive of our FFA and 4-H kids.”

“This was all possible with the hours and donations of many fair board members, as well as the help from the community,” he added. “There were no tax-payer dollars used in this project.”
Along with the panel fencing, the announcer's stand will also receive a facelift to replace the wood flooring, and to match the color to the Livestock Pavilion and Event Center at the county fairgrounds.