Shelli Tracy of Victor organized the 4D barrel race held on Saturday. Tracy, Harberts and Strain who all, besides wanting to run barrels, had an ulterior motive in mind. The trio has formed a group of Fairgrounds arena users to raise money for the arena and what is known as the ‘backside’ of the fairgrounds.
For years the rodeo facilities at the Ravalli County Fairgrounds was known as one of the best in the state. This group of people recently went to fairgrounds director Deborah Rogala to see if they could actively raise money for improvements. Several areas had already been identified for improvement by the staff at the fairgrounds and with the additional manpower; plans have been made to make these improvements.
The first improvement will be a new sorting chute at the roping end of the arena. Rope Rennaker of Darby is doing the improvements as his Eagle Scout project. This will be a state-of-the-art addition to the arena with 12 sorting stalls constructed at the rear of the roping chutes. Loyd Rennaker, Rope’s dad and a tie-down roping competitor, said the new chutes will be much safer for both the calves and the people helping with the rodeos.
After that task is done, the group hopes to work on the ground in the arena. Currently the ground is hard with rocks and other debris in it. The ideal ground would be a mixture of sand, a little clay and dirt to give every animal the same type of footing. Finally, the group hopes to raise enough money so the Fairgrounds can purchase a new piece of equipment that will keep the ground in good condition.