Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

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February 25, 2013

The 1836 CHUCKWAGON RACE

NECHES — The 1836 Chuck Wagon Race is billed as a “rip-roaring” three-day event, and is the first of its kind in the state, according to organizer Moon Swanson.

“There's a big chuck wagon race Labor Day Weekend in Clinton, Ark., that I've been going to for a number of years, and I've (always) wanted to promote that in Texas,” said Swanson, whose Diamond B Ranch is site of the event.

Swanson and his wife Samantha will open the ranch – originally owned by his grandfather – to more than 150 contestants for the event, slated March 1-3.

“A lot of them will be from Arkansas, with a few from Louisiana, a few from Oklahoma, a few from Missouri and Texas, but it seems like there's an excitement over it being held in Texas,” he said, adding that he intentionally chose the Texas Independence Day weekend for as the date.

“March 2 is Texas Independence Day, and we definitely want to promote Texas history – we'll have an education about the Texas Revolution, and will run all the flags of the revolution on the racetrack before the opening of the show,” Swanson said. “We're Texas to the bone.”

According to “The Big Apple” blog operated by Barry Popik, in 2005, the chuck wagon was designated the official state vehicle of Texas.

“The cook often drove the chuck wagon. Attached to the back of the chuck wagon was the 'chuck box,' a pantry,” with the wagon was equipped with cooking facilities and provisions for people as they traveled, the site said.

The 1836 Chuck Wagon Race is sanctioned by the National Championship Chuckwagon Race and the Texas Chuckwagon Racing Association, and is open to horsemen and wagoneers, who must present negative Coggins papers at the front gate for their equines.

Wagon divisions include Classic, Buckboard, Oklahoma Landrush, 4up Mules and Big Mules. Other activities include Bronc Fann'n, Pasture Team Rope'n, The Alamo Race and Cowboy Mounted Shooting.

Throughout the weekend, trail rides and a horse-pulled plowing demo will be held each morning, with a cowboy mounted shooting clinic planned through the weekend, as well as a daily Dutch oven bisuit-cooking class led by Mrs. Swanson.

Chuck wagon races will begin at 1 p.m. daily Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

March 1 offerings include: Bull whip demo, 11 a.m.; feed lot sorting competition, 4 p.m.; Calcutta auction, 6 p.m.; and live music, at 7 p.m., featuring Tin Top Road and Bulletproof.

March 2: Horse auction, 5 p.m. horse auction; live music featuring Kimberly Dunn Band, and Adam Brown and the Tripple Crown Band, 7 p.m.

March 3: Cowboy Church service, 10 a.m. at the barn, followed by a Grand Entry TEXAS INDEPENDENCE at noon, then a 4 p.m. awards presentation, followed by music at 7 p.m.

Also on hand throughout the weekend will be vendors providing food, Western tack, saddles, chaps and chinks.

Gates open Feb. 27, with camping on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Cost per day is $20 adults and $10  for children under age 12. Discounted armband passes are available through Feb. 26, at $60 each.

In addition to the weekend events, different activities are planned for campers Feb. 27-28, including a hoof care clinic, cowboy poetry, karaoke, cowboy mounted soccer, a horseshoe competition and a barn dance.

Gates close noon March 4.

Diamond B Ranch is located at 11589 FM 321, just off Texas Highway 155 and north of Palestine.

For more information, contact Moon and Samantha Swanson of the Diamond B Ranch, 903-721-9111, or email 1836chuckwagonrace@gmail.com.

Or visit www.1836chuckwagonrace.com.

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