Lincoln County, N.M., Welcomes Cowboys

20th annual Lincoln County Cowboy Symposium kicks off on Oct. 9

By: By Deanna Ting

2008 Cowboy Symposium // (c) 2008

 Master Horseman Craig Cameron gives horsemanship instruction at the annual
Cowboy Symposium

Every year, during the second full week in October, Ruidoso Downs, N.M., plays host to a bevy of cowboy poets, musicians, chuckwagon cooks, Western artists and craftsmen for the annual Lincoln County Cowboy Symposium. This year’s event, to be held Oct. 9-11, marks the symposium’s 20th anniversary and to celebrate, the event is continuing its traditions of cook-offs, horsemanship, music and trail rides.

The highlight of each year’s symposium is a celebration of cowboy music and poetry and this year, attendees will be treated to a wide variety of musical styles, from Western Swing and gospel to traditional country.

Foodie clients will enjoy the World’s Richest Chuckwagon Cook-Off, which awards prizes totaling some $12,000. During the cook-off, competitors are judged on the quality of their food as well as the authenticity of their wagons and attire. The symposium also features cooking demonstrations by C.W. “Butch” Welch, a native of Idaho who specializes in back-country cooking techniques and flavors.

Clients who enjoy activities that celebrate the West will be entertained by demonstrations in horsemanship, shooting, roping, blacksmithing and various Western arts and crafts.

Children can also compete in dummy roping, stick horse barrel racing, goat roping and goat/sheep scramble competitions.

Admission on Sunday, Oct. 11, is free, and activities include gospel music performances and a Sunday Saddle Sermon Trail Ride.

Ticket prices for the symposium vary by event and activity.