Ticket feature: Special Olympics equestrian competition set

File photo Clovis and the United Way of Eastern New Mexico are to host the New Mexico Special Olympics Equestrian Game this weekend.

Freedom New Mexico

Clovis and the Special Olympics New Mexico Equestrian Team are hosting the Special Olympics New Mexico Equestrian Games Friday and Saturday.

The equestrian event for the Special Olympics started in 1985 at the state Special Olympics summer games in Albuquerque and later moved to Clovis because the horses’ temperaments were more suitable for the riders. It has been in Clovis for the last 24 years.

The annual event relies on volunteers that lend their horses to the event for the Special Olympic athletes to use.

The athletes are divided into categories by their ability to ride independently or with a guide. The judges then look at how they do things and how they participate. “This year we have 33 registered athletes,” said Roxy Burgess, equine Special Olympics co-founder.

Opening ceremonies are Friday at 7 p.m. and consist of the lighting of the torch, the Olympic oath and performances by Special Olympics coaches, riders and the Cattle Capitol CowBelles.