Will Rogers Range Riders

Horse lovers unite at the Will Rogers Range Riders in Amarillo, TX. This venue is an equestrian arena for those looking to indulge in horse related activities. Whether you’re a spectator or a rider, you won’t be bored at Will Rogers Range Riders. In 1938, on a warm summer day, the city of Amarillo was the place to be as the town celebrated the opening of Will Rogers Memorial Highway, better known as Route 66. This celebration prompted the opening of the Will Rogers Range Riders later into the year, a club for people in the area who shared a love for horses.

The arena is situated along the road it is named after in northwest Amarillo. With a group of over 100 members of diverse professions, the club is the “oldest continually operating riding club in the United States” according to its website. The first place the club met and was located was in the Amarillo Fairgrounds old racehorse stables until 1947 after the land in which the venue is located today was purchased. The recreation hall still standing today on the property was transported from the Fairgrounds to the new location in 1951.

The group decided to pursue the purchase of another historical landmark in Amarillo, the old Miles Bivins home built in 1911. The house was located at 10th and Tyler and sold to the club by Betty Bivins Childers, Miles Bivins daughter. It was moved to the new Will Rogers Range Riders facility and used as the headquarters.

During World War II, after Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese, the US armed forces designated groups around the country as a defense mechanism against a potential US invasion. Will Rogers Range Riders were picked to be one of these fighting groups prepared for war and 30-30 Winchester rifles were issued to each male member. Obviously, the US evaded invasion and the organization was not needed for this purpose. Today, the club still assists law enforcement when horses are needed for search and rescue missions in the panhandle region.

In April, join the club for their annual Easter egg hunt put on for the kids of the community. Eggs are hidden throughout the city where children can explore and search for them. The club began hosting this seasonally festive event in 1952 and continues to do so today. The organization also allows various non-profits to rent out the venue for no charge when they need a place to host charitable events.

If you are a local resident, you are more than likely familiar with the Will Rogers Range Riders, but did you know they have a claim to a wider range of fame? The Will Rogers Range Riders were invited in 1947 to the inaugural parade of Buford Jester, the newly appointed Texas Governor. Each horse accompanied by their rider boarded a train and headed to Austin for the festivities. When Governor Preston Smith was elected to office, the Will Rogers Range Riders were once again invited to represent the Texas Panhandle.
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