Saddle up for National Day of the Cowboy celebrations at AQHA

Posted by Chip Chandler on
National Day of the Cowboy is Saturday at AQHA.

By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer

Celebrate those who rope, wrangle and ride Saturday at American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum.

National Day of the Cowboy will be marked in a free event from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the museum, 2601 E. Interstate 40.

"Amarillo is touted as the Cowboy Capital of the World, and Amarillo's lucky that American Quarter Horse Association makes this its home, so National Day of the Cowboy is our way to reach out to the community and teach people about why the American quarter horse is so beloved across the globe (while) also celebrating our cowboy heritage," said Melissa Loftin, AQHA community outreach liaison.

At the event, children will get the chance to ride an American quarter horse. In the event's seven-year history, more than 1,200 children have ridden horses, and this year's rides are part of the American Horse Council's Time to Ride initiative, which hopes to increase awareness of the benefit of horse activities.

The Amarillo Public Library, country music station 97.9 KGNC FM, American Charro Association, Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, Center City of Amarillo, Southwest Cowboy Poets Association and Amarillo Convention & Visitors Council will participate throughout the day.

Planned activities include:

  • Barrel racing on the lawn from 10 a.m. to noon
  • Charro demonstrations on horseback from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. Charros, which are featured in the museum's ongoing Nacidos Charro: Born Charro exhibition, are skilled horsemen who proudly carry on early Mexican traditions.
  • Ride an American Quarter Horse between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sign-up starts at 10 a.m.
  • Children stories about cowboys, with readings by library staffers at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.
  • Make your own stick pony or cowboy trail mix
  • Listen to cowgirl and cowboy poetry at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m.
  • Create brands from noon to 2 p.m. with PPHM staffers
  • Michael Grauer, PPHM curator of art and Western heritage, will appear as an 1890’s cowboy and teach visitors about the real west.
  • Meet the horses and actors from the outdoor musical Texas
  • Take a tour of the Hall of Fame and the Nacidos Charros exhibit
  • Make your mark on a Center City stallion statue

Free food and drink will be provided while supplies last.

The National Day of the Cowboy campaign was founded in 2004 to preserve, protect and promote the cowboy and our Western heritage. For more information on the scope of this day as a national event, go to

Kids games and other activities are on tap for the annual National Day of the Cowboy celebrations Saturday at American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum.


Chip Chandler is a digital content producer for Panhandle PBS. He can be contacted at, at @chipchandler1 on Twitter and on Facebook.

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