Off to the races
A group of Manila "cowboys" left Friday to join the annual chuck wagon races and trail rides held at Clinton. Making the trip were Garrett Hamilton, Shane Flannigan, Kelly Fields, Sammy Williams, Zack Williams, Jessie Flannigan and Ernie Malloy.
It will be Malloy's 10th trip to the chuck wagon races and Jessie and Garrett's first year.
Jessie Flannigan said a bad day riding horses beats the best day of school.
"I didn't plan to go this year but when I found out a memorial service was being held for Perry Gray, we decided to make the trip," Malloy said. "We (Malloy and Gray) raced in the chuck wagon races for about five years."
Malloy called the Clinton races the "Cowboy Woodstock."
Malloy built his own chuck wagon to race.
"It was pulled with 52" mules," he said.
"We gave up racing a few years ago, but we decided to go this year in memory of Perry," Malloy said.
Malloy said it is a fun weekend with trail rides, races, a rodeo, horse shows, a horse auction, and gift shops. It draws about 20,000 people and 9,000 head of horses every year.
"A lot of people from this area attend every year," he said.
The Manila group pulled two horse trailers for the eight horses and supplies.
"We are taking plenty of groceries," Malloy said. "We are going to have a fish fry and grill burgers. Benny Bob's donated barbecue and beans for the trip."
Malloy said anyone interested in finding out more about the chuck wagon races can gather information on their website at clintonchuckwagonraces.com.