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Roping event will benefit children's home

A team roping event set for October aims to honor a Curry County farmer, benefit children and raise money for agriculture advocacy.

The first-ever Charles Petty Memorial Team Roping Event is to raise money for the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, a lobby group for farmers and ranchers, and the New Mexico Baptist Children’s Home, which takes in hurting children and single parents, in Portales.

Gregg Gossett, president of the Curry/Roosevelt County chapter of the farmers union, said late Ranchvale farmer Charles Petty was a leader in the organization for decades and often worked with the Baptist Children’s Home. Charles Petty died in a farm accident after inhaling toxic fumes while fighting a fire in January.

Event organizer Jess Gossett, Gregg Gossett’s son, said the first day of the roping would feature expert competitors, prizes in each roping that day and an overall prize of $1,000. The second day is for novice team ropers and has prizes for the roping but not an overall prize because the pot is bigger, he said.

Spectators are allowed in free both days, but Jess Gossett recommended coming on the first day.

“There’s going to be some pretty top-notch ropers there,” he said.

Dale Petty, Charles Petty’s son, said the roping was exciting.

“It’s a great way to pay tribute to my dad and the work he’s done in the community over the years,” said Dale Petty.

Charles Petty was the kind of person to stop for stranded motorists or hitch-hikers beside the highway, his son said.

“He was a man that just had a big, big heart and cared for children and grandchildren,” Dale Petty continued.

Charles Petty did a lot of work with Ranchvale Baptist Church, and the Baptist Children’s Home was part of the extended family, Dale Petty said.

Gregg Gossett said among other roles, Charles Petty had been a leader in the farmers union starting in the 1960s. As late as last year, he was still traveling to speak to lawmakers, and the first one to breakfast every morning, even though he was almost 80 years old and having trouble walking, Gregg Gossett said.

“Charles Petty had just really worked hard at farm and ranch advocacy,” he said, adding that it takes a lot to travel, learn and work with issues.