Memorial barrel race honors former board member Eugene Blair

Published 11:00 am Thursday, March 23, 2023

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For equine enthusiasts, there are plenty of horse activities planned for the Chambers County Agriculture Arena in the coming months including former Board member Eugene Blair’s memorial barrel race. 

Eddie Adams, director of the Chambers County Agriculture Arena, discussed the events during the county commission meeting.

June 10 will be Blair’s memorial barrel race. Blair was one of the founding members of the recreation board. He passed away during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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Taylor Arnett, Blair’s daughter, will be doing a barrel race in his honor. Arnett plans to put the proceeds from the event toward a scholarship.

On March 31 and April 1, the arena will come alive with Sheriff Jeff Nelson’s first time hosting the annual Chambers County’s Sheriff’s Rodeo. This year marks the rodeo’s 27th anniversary. 

“Over the years, that rodeo has brought in a lot of money for the sheriff’s department so we hope that the community will get out and continue to support it,” Adams said. “It’s good family entertainment.”

Being a rural county, the rodeo began to fundraise for the sheriff’s department for additional expenses like drug dogs, cameras for patrol cars and police vests. 

“The community is supporting law enforcement but then we’re entertaining them too,” Adams told the Valley Times-News. “Those guys and ladies have a tough job out there. Anything we can do to support them.”

On April 11, the Loomis Brothers circus is coming back into town for the second year. The circus’s show will feature American show pony, wild jungle cat, trapeze and high wire acts. 

On June 3, East Alabama Horse Association will hold a horse show at the arena. 

“It’s a good way for young people to get started in the equine industry, and it’s a good way for the older people that are slowing down, that don’t want to travel too far, to go little local horse shows,” Adams said. 

Since January, there have been two barrel races this year. On March 4, there was a horse fair. The community brought their horses for a veterinary check-up. A local veterinarian drew blood and gave a Coggins test to the horses. 

There will be barrel racing events on April 9 and May 6. In addition to the horse events, the arena has trails and work out equipment that are open to the public.

“The Chambers County Agriculture Center is open for business, and we like people to come out and use the facilities,” Adams said.