Photos and article by T.A. Niles

If you measure success by the crowd's size and enthusiasm, Day 2 (Friday) of the Casper Baca Wild Wild West Rodeo at Southwest Horseman's Park in Silver City was an unmitigated success. That's no surprise given that we are in the southwest and that the rodeo offers something for anyone remotely connected to or interested in southwest culture. Ah, not to mention food, drink, and merchandise in vast variety.

I'm relatively new to the southwest and brand new to rodeo, but it's clear that as much fun as it is, the organizers, the participants, and the spectators take all elements of rodeo seriously…while having a blast, of course. From the git-go, it smacks you right in the face that pomp and circumstance are not just for graduations. The rodeo kick-off features the national anthem, flag waving, an invocation and participant processions (including the livestock). It is quite a spectacular sight.

While Day 1 was full of bull and testosterone- after all it was a bull fest with only male riders, Day 2 injected some estrogen into the festivities. Ok, I confess. There was plenty of cowgirl action on display in the opening ceremony on both nights. And those ladies can ride! They played a more substantial role on Day 2, which included Breakaway Roping and Barrell Racing.

I had planned to attend this event specifically for Barrels and Breakaway because I was anticipating watching Clair and Amy Biebelle, two of New Mexico's best young rodeo talents. Given that this is my first rodeo, I wasn't prepared to be there past 10pm, especially with a ton of photos to edit. Sadly, that means that I missed both girls, who must not have ridden until past 10pm. Amy is only 11 years old, so I can imagine how she felt going on that late on a chilly night.

Both Biebelle girls are tougher than I am it seems, but I think you must be to be a successful rodeo athlete. Nevertheless, I'm gonna be there for the long-haul Saturday night regardless. It was great to catch Ava Packouz's 3.67 Breakaway ride. That was tops during the "performance." She features prominently in a piece I am working on about the top ten girls rodeo athletes for the New Mexico Junior High Rodeo Association's (NMJHRA) 2022-23 season.

Content on the Beat

WARNING: All articles and photos with a byline or photo credit are copyrighted to the author or photographer. You may not use any information found within the articles without asking permission AND giving attribution to the source. Photos can be requested and may incur a nominal fee for use personally or commercially.

Disclaimer: If you find errors in articles not written by the Beat team but sent to us from other content providers, please contact the writer, not the Beat. For example, obituaries are always provided by the funeral home or a family member. We can fix errors, but please give details on where the error is so we can find it. News releases from government and non-profit entities are posted generally without change, except for legal notices, which incur a small charge.

NOTE: If an article does not have a byline, it was written by someone not affiliated with the Beat and then sent to the Beat for posting.

Images: We have received complaints about large images blocking parts of other articles. If you encounter this problem, click on the title of the article you want to read and it will take you to that article's page, which shows only that article without any intruders. 

New Columnists: The Beat continues to bring you new columnists. And check out the old faithfuls who continue to provide content.

Newsletter: If you opt in to the Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates option above this to the right, you will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.

Submitting to the Beat

Those new to providing news releases to the Beat are asked to please check out submission guidelines at They are for your information to make life easier on the readers, as well as for the editor.

Advertising: Don't forget to tell advertisers that you saw their ads on the Beat.

Classifieds: We have changed Classifieds to a simpler option. Check periodically to see if any new ones have popped up. Send your information to and we will post it as soon as we can. Instructions and prices are on the page.

Editor's Notes

It has come to this editor's attention that people are sending information to the Grant County Beat Facebook page. Please be aware that the editor does not regularly monitor the page. If you have items you want to send to the editor, please send them to Thanks!

Here for YOU: Consider the Beat your DAILY newspaper for up-to-date information about Grant County. It's at your fingertips! One Click to Local News. Thanks for your support for and your readership of Grant County's online news source—

Feel free to notify if you notice any technical problems on the site. Your convenience is my desire for the Beat.  The Beat totally appreciates its readers and subscribers!  

Compliance: Because you are an esteemed member of The Grant County Beat readership, be assured that we at the Beat continue to do everything we can to be in full compliance with GDPR and pertinent US law, so that the information you have chosen to give to us cannot be compromised.