New Mexico Centennial “Cattle Drive of the Century”

100 Longhorn Cattle to Cover 45 Miles in Four Days; Public Invited to Participate;
Free Festival in Carlsbad Concludes the Cattle Drive

SANTA FE, N.M. (April 26, 2012 ) – As New Mexico celebrates 100 years of statehood, many celebrations are being held throughout the state. On May 9-12, 2012, Lea County and Eddy County, in the southeast corner of New Mexico, have partnered to organize the “Cattle Drive of the Century.” Working cowboys will drive 100 head of longhorn cattle 45 miles from the Pitchfork Cattle Company ranch headquarters in Lea County starting at 8a.m. on May 9 and will end their journey at the Eddy County Sheriff’s Posse Arena in Carlsbad about 11 a.m. on May 12. The cattle, branded with a special “Centennial Brand” designed by high school students in Jal, N.M., will be auctioned off on May 12. The public is invited to participate in the ride three ways.

Dude Ranch Experience – participants will be provided everything they need to ride for three days and camp each night, including a horse, tack, camping equipment, etc. All meals and entertainment are included. Each rider will be assigned a wrangler who will assist during the ride. Cost: $1800

Wagon Train & Trail Riders Experience – available for riders with horses, or mules and wagon, to travel along with the cattle and enjoy three meals a day and entertainment each evening. Participants must provide their own equipment and horse or mule. Cost: $225

City Slickers – anyone may join the cowboys each evening by taking buses departing at 5 p.m. from Carlsbad or Hobbs to the camp site. There they will enjoy a chuck wagon dinner and entertainment. Cost: $75 per night

Bert Madera, owner of the Pitchfork Cattle Company, has organized the ride and is providing the longhorn cattle.  “I’m proud to be a part of New Mexico’s centennial celebrations,” said Madera. “During the drive we’ll ride the range with seasoned wranglers, camp under the stars, eat dinner from chuck wagons, and gather round the campfires for poetry, singing and storytelling.”

In addition to everyday cowboys riding the trail, there will also be well-known entertainers performing each evening.  At the main campfire, award-winning Michael Martin Murphey will entertain each night. Stroll to nearby campfires, and enjoy the likes of Andy Wilkinson (direct descendent of Charles Goodnight), Andy Hedges, Mike Moutoux, Glen Moreland, Washtub Jerry and other great performers.

End of the Trail: Cattle Drive Round-Up Festival – 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

On May 12, the cattle drive will end its journey in Carlsbad about 11 a.m. at the Eddy County Sheriff’s Posse Arena and will be sold at live auction at approximately 2 p.m.  Attractions at the all-day free festival include vendors, re-enactors, western entertainment, children’s area, rodeo activities, and lots of food for purchase.

Michael Martin Murphey will perform a concert at the Walter Gerrels Performing Arts Center in Carlsbad starting at 8 p.m. Cost is $25 online at  or $35 at the door.

For additional information or to purchase tickets for the “Centennial Cattle Drive” visit and link on Centennial Longhorn Cattle Drive, or call 575-392-6730.

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