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Will Rogers Park Equestrian Day Revives Spirit of the Old West

October 03, 1987|ELLEN MELINKOFF

Trick ropers and riders will keep the spirit of humorist Will Rogers alive Sunday at the seventh annual Equestrian Day at Will Rogers State Historic Park in Pacific Palisades. It's a chance to enjoy horses, polo and a bit of the Old West as Rogers and his family did.

The day begins with a polo match at 9:30 a.m. Polo has been played at the ranch since 1924. Families should bring a blanket to spread on the embankment overlooking the polo field, where most of the festivities will take place (there are no grandstands).

At noon, a country-Western band will entertain while visitors tour the ranch house and nature center. Short films of a young Rogers doing his spectacular roping tricks will be shown.

It's back to the polo field at 1:30 p.m. for the main event of the day, the equestrian show. The Grand Entry will include riders costumed as Buffalo Bill and Wild Bill Hickok. Hoofbeats of Norco, a team of square-dancing horses will perform. Peruvian Pasos, considered the smoothest riding horses in the world, will demonstrate their "Champagne ride" without spilling a drop. Also on the schedule: Bill Nolt, showing his skills with a bullwhip; a Wild West show with cowboys and Indians and 12-year-old trick roper Danny Trafton.

There will be food for sale, mostly barbecue and drinks, but to avoid lines, families are encouraged to bring picnic lunches to enjoy on the park's broad lawn. The event is free, but there is a $3 parking fee. The park is at 14253 Sunset Blvd., Pacific Palisades. Information: (213) 454-8212.

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