Shadrach Michaels
The White Pine County Horse Races and Fair run Friday through Sunday with a host of activities scheduled

The Ely Times

The White Pine County Horse Races and Fair return for another weekend of racing, saddle bronc riding, crafty displays, and a livestock auction. It’s a part of history and culture that has sculpted White Pine County since 1934.  

Post time will kick off on Friday at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, post times will commence at 1 p.m.   

The Ranch Rodeo will begin at 10 a.m. on Friday and will host team branding, team trailer loading,  team cattle doctoring and team roping. Individual events will be women’s steer stopping and ranch saddle bronc riding.  There will be prizes for men’s and women’s teams.

The Fireman’s BBQ will take place in the evening, at 5 p.m., as well. A wonderful array of succulent food will be served.  

The concessions stand on Saturday and Sunday will continue with wonderful chorizos, hamburgers, hot dogs and on Sunday breakfast burritos.

An added bonus on Sunday will be a new event called the White Pine T-Rex & Mascot Shuffle at 11 a.m. The participants will provide their own costumes, and they will either dash, walk, dance or run to make it down the track to 50 yards at the finish line.  

There is no fee or age limit for this event, and it should provide additional entertainment for the crowd.

The vision and sound of the horse’s hoofs coming from the starting gate is a sight to behold, you can actually feel the ground move and vibrate from ground level.

The end-of-race finish line festivities is exciting for the horse owner, jockey, trainer, and of course, the race sponsors, as they line up for the official picture in the “winner’s circle.”

Mike Scudder, horse owner and legendary trainer, is very partial to the horse racing events here in White Pine County. So much so, that he’s been coming each year since 1979.

“The people, you work with here, it’s not all about making money at the track, it’s about what helps the horseman, that a big deal, “ Scudder said.  

Six races are scheduled for Friday, 11 on Saturday,  and seven on Sunday to wrap up the weekend. 

Scudder’s team was out working horses on the track, a galloper, named Adrian McKenney has been with Scudder for the past 15 years.

Usually when asked who his favorite horse is, he wouild answer Another Bumper, but this year, he explains how he couldn’t just pick one. At home in the winter, they look the same, the look as slick as they do now.  

They never have a dull moment, Scudder notes.  “I have one mare entering the races on Saturday. I’ll be surprised if they beat her, she’s pretty superior.”   

As horse rounded the hot walker, there was no doubt, each one, knew who their owner is.  They glanced at him each time they round the corner. 

McKenney took one of Scudder’s newer race horses around the track, and then the second horse that was brought out was what Scudder described as his old pro. 

As Scudder watches the rider and his horse, he explains the importance of the leads switching, and noticing if there are any mishpas, or problems, so the can figure out if it’s the horse of the track.  

His old pro as he called him, galloped down the track. Scudder said, “He’ll know every point that he’s at, he knows right when he gets to relax and go and then he knows when he gets there expecially the second time he knows when he’s ready to go home, you’re standing straight up on him without pulling down on him.”  

Scudder notes he’s had this horse for four years. A horse that was originally owned from some locals from Cherry Creek. 

Scudder said, “You can see the power that he has, the average rider would never hold him, you sit down and let him run, you’d be going around four times.” 

At that moment the horse took off down the track. “He’s pretty unique, he has a presence about him, he’s coal black, stands out amongst them, and he’s got a little fire in him and he’s not afraid to use it.”