BEN JOHNSON DAYS
Thanks to everyone who helped make Ben Johnson Days such a great success last year!
Congratulations to our trailer winner Brian Kelley
Congratulations to all the winners of the Gymkhana! and to the winners of the Poker Ride:
1st place: Leroy Staupe
A special thanks to all of our sponsors and hard working volunteers.
Annual Ben Johnson Days
NOVEMBER 7, 2013 - Texas Hold-em Tournament
Location - Elks Club on Hwy 88
NOVEMBER 8 - 'Fun' Gymkhana
Location - AJ Rodeo Grounds - corner of Tomahawk & Lost Dutchman Blvd.
NOVEMBER 9 - Poker Ride
Location - Goldfield Ghost Town, Lower Lot
Rental Horses are available, first come. There are a limited number available and need to be reserved in advance. The cost for the Poker Ride is $45 for the rental horse and $25.00 for the ride and hand. Please contact Sandie Russell st 480-993-5438 for information and reservations. Rental horse riders need to be at the lower lot of the Goldfield Ghost Town no later that 7:30 for registration.
NOVEMBER 9 - Trailer Raffle Drawing!!!!
Proceeds to benefit Sunshine Acres Children's Home & Boys & Girls Club
Ben Johnson was an honest-to-goodness Oklahoma cowboy, World Champion Roper, rancher, and horse-wrangler who caught the eye of director John Ford who hired him to do stunt work and as riding-double for Henry Fonda in the movie, "Fort Apache". Ben had many films to his credit, including films starring John Wayne that high-lighted his riding abilities, and eventually starring or co-starred in such films such as "Mighty Joe Young , "Wagon Master, "Shane", "The Getaway", "Breakheart Pass", as well as television episodes like, "Have Gun Will Travel. This lead to his Academy Award for his role in "The Last Picture Show".
As an humanitarian, Ben organized many celebrity rodeos that benefited children's organizations, an area that was very dear to his heart. He organized and competed in many of his own charity rodeos and frequently won, right to the end of his life (April 8, 1996).
Ben took up residence in Mesa, Arizona and soon adopted Sunshine Acres Children's Home as one of his charities. He spent many hours with the children teaching them to rope.
Charlotte Holmes, a long time resident of Apache Junction and founding member of the Goldfield Ghost Riders, contacted Ben Johnson about having an equestrian charity poker ride at the Goldfield Ghost Town. Before long, a whole passel of friends wanted to give Ben a helping hand. In November of 1994, Ben and about 20 of his old acting friends, including Harry Carey, Jr., rode out of the Goldfield Ghost Town. In all, there were 349 riders giving Ben a helping hand. The proceeds helped the AJ Youth Center and the Sunshine Acres Children's Home.
On April 19, 1997, Sunshine Acres Children's Home dedicated their newest facility, the Ben Johnson Memorial Barn, in his honor. The Goldfield Ghost Riders officially formed in 1996 with a nonprofit classification and continues to raise money for children's charities in the spirit of Ben Johnson.