Santa Fe Depot to serve as horse hotel for upcoming rodeo

Dirt parking lot at the Santa Fe Depot in Amarillo will be new temporary home for more than 150 quarter horses during a rodeo in November (Drew Powell ABC 7 News)

The WRCA World Championship Ranch Rodeo saddles up next month in Amarillo, the quarter horses will stay at a different venue this year. The city of Amarillo and the WRCA have worked out an agreement allowing the horses to stay at the Santa Fe Depot dirt parking lot.

“We will be able to put our horses on the dirt parking lot, so they won’t be standing on pavement,” said Randy Whipple, treasurer & board member with the WRCA. “This will be a big plus for the horses. There’s also a fence all the way around this area and its lighted. It will be safe and secure for the horses, in case one of the them gets out of a stall.”

Previously the horses stayed on pavement at a parking lot east of the Amarillo Civic Center or at the Tri State County Fair during the first few years of the rodeo. Whipple tells ABC 7 News due to the value of the quarter horses it was imperative to have accommodations meet specific requirements which had to be worked out a couple months in advance.

“That is why we are trying to be very conscious of the security and safety of these animals,” said Whipple. “We want to make sure the horses are well protected. They will be guarded 24/7 and having them stand on the dirt the horses will be much happier about that.”

“The quarter horses are the tool of your choice when you're doing this kind of rodeo so you want them to be happy,” said Leman Wall, WRCA manager. “We want them to be healthy and well cared for so when they enter into that arena (Amarillo Civic Center) the horses will be happy.”

For spectators or even people not attending the rodeo who are interested in seeing the horses up close, having the horses in a larger and more secure spot will allow people to see them and take photos.

“If you are interested in coming to see these animals we will arrange for that,” said Wall. “It’s a great opportunity for families to come see these wonderful horses.”

The WRCA World Championship Ranch Rodeo is scheduled for Nov. 9 - 12 and is already sold out for Saturday night. Whipple tells ABC 7 News stalls will be brought in along with food and water hookup is also available. The new location will be able to accommodate more than 150 horses. As long as the city owns the Santa Fe Depot the horses will stay at the dirt parking lot on the grounds.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off