Next November cowboys and cowgirls will come to Amarillo with guns blazing for the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association's World Championships.
The group announced they will bring their event to the Amarillo National Center November 18-23, 2008. The competition is one of a list of equine events coming to the city. And that's no coincidence. "We're working very hard specifically in horse or equine events just because of who we are in Amarillo, because of our heritage, our cowboy ranching heritage," said Eric Miller, the Communications Director for the Amarillo Convention and Visitor Council.
More than 400 competitors are expected for the annual event with a total attendance, including family and friends estimated at 1,500, according to a press release by the Amarillo Convention and Visitor Council. Event organizers say they were wooed away from last year's home to the competition, Las Vegas. "Las Vegas is a very nice place, the arena is fabulous but I think Amarillo has our type of people in it," said Frank Turben, the President of the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association's, based in Scottsdale, Arizona.
There are several reasons for the increase in big events not only at the Amarillo National Center, but at facilities around Amarillo. "Amarillo is just a great place, its in the center of the United States, so it's kind of fair for everyone who needs to travel. It's got a great climate and good people," said Chris Reed, Vice-President of the Coors Distribution Center in Amarillo and part of the Fair Committee.
Another reason is the town's friendly attitude. "I just found the hospitality unbelievable. Really nice people. The facility is fabulous, it's just what we need for our event. And I'm really excited about bringing our world championship here next year," said Turben. Since the Amarillo National Center opened in 2001, it has generated around $32 million dollars in revenue for the city, according to Holly Shelton, spokesperson for the fair and rodeo marketing director.