by Lenice Basham, Pair•A•Dice Mules, Belle, Mo.
On July 30-August 1, The Silver Nickel Arena in Raymondville, Mo., held their first chuckwagon races. It is a beautiful facility and a perfect set up for the races. A big open field next to a slightly sloping hill makes for ideal race watching. There were multiple teams for most categories and some of those were familiar race teams from the National Chuckwagon Races in Clinton, Ark. The event was sanctioned by the Midwest Chuckwagon Racing Association.
The facility is very nice and brand new. The owner, Cody Nickels, has built a brand new roping arena and a beautiful cook shack. He is also holding team roping, team sorting, barrel races and other events at the arena. He hopes to hold the chuckwagon races again next year.
The races with the chuckwagon association are a little different than the National Chuckwagon Races that we are familiar with. In the Midwest Chuckwagon Racing Association, the racers race on a flat track with barrels set up to mark the course. Around the course there are black barrels which indicate the end of the race for the different height racers. The 46” ponies and mules have a much shorter track than the classic chuckwagons with the big horses. The big mules also race on a flat track with no hills. The races are exciting and fast. There are few “wrecks” and the safety of the team and participants is a high priority. The racers still have to circle the barrel at the start of the gun and the outriders still have to cross before their teams. We were disappointed that my son, Cole, was the only mule for the mule race, but he raced with the horses the first day. Cole loves the flat mule race and was really looking forward to racing the mules. Maybe next year there will be more mule participants.
The Silver Nickel Arena races were the perfect weekend to get everyone ready for the big event in Clinton.
For more information about events at the arena, you can contact Cody Nickels at (417)967-6484, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are a few more photos from the event...