The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961 Page: 37
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Life at Winkler
the custom was carried on almost exclusively by the male part of
the population; by a fineness of feeling, women were not supposed
to take part in these more or less hilarious carryings-on. Paren-
thetically, that is all a thing of the past. Automobiles have ren-
dered distant places of attraction more accessible, and that has
caused decadence of the institution; Saturday evening at Winkler
currently is no more than Monday morning.
In sports the community has been about like the rest of this
central part of Texas. Tournaments were among the most impor-
tant of these in the early days. A regular tournament was a big
event, and it required a good deal of effort to get one up. They
always drew large crowds, dinner with barbecue was had, and
knights for miles around would come to take part. A substantial
prize would often be given the winner, a watch or a saddle.
Tournaments were the finest of all equestrian sports. Women were
connected with them, in that some young lady was crowned queen
in the final ceremony; and an air of gallantry generally pervaded
the atmosphere on those occasions. Tournaments, however, did
not survive long into more modern years.
Horse racing lasted much longer. There never were any reg-
ular blooded horses kept in the Winkler area solely for the pur-
pose, nor have there been any men who could be termed regular
racers--that is, those who make it a profession. Still there have
been plenty of good horses, and there always were men ready to
put their money down on them.
As a general thing the races were short in distance, three hun-
dred yards being a popular length. When better stock was used,
however, one might be lengthened out to half a mile.
A race was usually brought about by the owners or backers of
two horses making a match for a run a week or two beforehand.
That would be the way it would start. Then other men around,
hearing of the coming contest, and having horses they thought
could run, would make ready to go, and a motley crowd it would
be that assembled at the track on the day set.
These gatherings were noisy, hilarious affairs. More loud-
mouthed talking and irresponsible bragging would take place at
a racing meet than at any other gathering of rough males. To a
person with an ear for the beauty of such things those ebullitions
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961, periodical, 1961; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101190/m1/55/: accessed April 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.