Caraway Equine Arena to open with bull riding event

Tuesday, October 22, 2013
A ribbon cutting was held Friday at the new Caraway Equine Arena. Pictured are City Councilman Mitchell Tipton, Caraway Mayor Barry Riley, Roger Bell, equine arena coordinator, and City Councilman John Boatman.

The Caraway Equine Arena has evolved from an idea to a reality. The arena, located behind Thermogas on Highway 158 in Caraway, was officially opened with a ribbon cutting Friday afternoon. The first event to be hosted at the arena will be a Buck'N of the Bulls at 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26.

The Buck'N of the Bulls event will be held in conjunction with the annual Caraway Harvest Fest which will be held in the downtown area of Caraway from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Caraway Mayor Barry Riley and council members, John Boatman and Mitchell Tipton, were on hand for the ribbon cutting welcoming Roger Bell, arena coordinator.

Caraway Equine Arena is ready for events.

Mayor Riley said the project started nine years ago and a lot of volunteers have contributed to making it a reality.

The former 15 acre gin lot, now owned by the city, has been transformed into a state of the art rodeo arena and will be managed by Bell. Bell said he is looking forward to the first annual Buck'N of the Bulls.

"This would not be possible without our sponsors," Bell said. "The arena has turned out great and I hope to have many different events next year for the community and the surrounding area."

The bleachers will seat 1,000 people. Bell said there is also room for people to drive in and tailgate on one side of the arena. It will all be first come, first serve. There will also be Big Red Barbecue for the concession.

"The old bleachers came from the old fairgrounds and we had them turned into metal bleachers," Riley said. "They turned out really good and will last a long time."

Bell said the Buck'N of the Bulls will be an exciting event.

"The championship belt buckle will be furnished by Kevin Jones Irrigation," Bell said. "Over 30 bulls will be provided by Hall Rodeo Company of Ash Flat. They were named 2013 Stock Contractor of the Year by the Arkansas Cowboy Association (ACA). They also have the 2013 ACA Buck'N Bull of the Year and had the 2013 ACA bull in the finals. We will have Funny Man Pork Chops, known as the biggest little man in pro rodeo, on hand for the Saturday event, along with bull fighters in the arena."

Bell also will be donating $1,000 from the Saturday event to St. Jude Children's Hospital. He said the Buffalo Island Central FFA donated $140 to the St. Jude fund.

Ticket price is $6 with no charge for children 6 and under.

The arena will also be available for other events.

"I would like to see youth events get started," Bell said. "In 2014 we are planning team sorting, team roping, barrel racing, and more rodeo events."

For more information on the arena's availability or event dates, contact Bell at 870-930-8067 or check out the listing of events on Facebook.

"A lot of hours went into the arena," Mayor Riley said. "It has turned out great. It will be good for our town and we will welcome visitors as they come to enjoy events at the Caraway Equine Arena."

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