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Cowgirl Roundup cracks open 2012 festivities

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

After shaking off the gray and drizzle of December, the first day of the New Year dawned bright and crystal clear. As someone intoned while basking in the warm sun, "This is why we live in the Hill Country."
After an initial bout with brisk wind, the weather cooperated perfectly for the fourth annual Cowgirl Roundup & Showdeo, Sunday, Jan. 1, at the Hill Country State Natural Area just south of Bandera. The gates opened at 11 am, but, as always, the day's homage to ladies and their horses kicked off at high noon in the Lodge Arena. That's when the mounted riders convened for the now-traditional panoramic photograph.
After the photograph, the girls of the HCSNA Junior Rangers presented the colors prior to the Cowgirls on Parade in the arena. Other costumed performers in the arena included the Horses of Peru Equestrian Drill Team and Escaramuza, made up of young precision equestriennes from San Antonio who executed their intricate patterns while riding sidesaddle. Think you're a horsewoman? Try that sometime!
Additionally, Escaramuza was selected as the State of Texas Junior Champions for 2011 by the Charro Association.
The Showdeo featured a demonstration by Dianne Lindig and the wranglers from the Hill Country Equestrian Lodge. During the open mic section, participants offered equine-centric stories, songs and poems. The afternoon's festivities ended with more activities in the arena that included trail obstacles set up by TJ Corgill of Happy Hearts Stables. During the poles and barrels "competitions," it was great to see girls riding sidesaddle on gaited horses turn a barrel or pole with seasoned rodeo professionals.
Local horse lovers are urged to mark calendars now for the fifth annual Cowgirl Roundup & Showdeo, scheduled for Jan 1 of 2013, if, as Hank Sr. was want to say, "The good Lord's willin' and the creek don't rise" - and presuming the Mayans were wrong, of course!