July 4, 2008

Las Cruces is Host City for National Show

By S. Derrickson Moore, Las Cruces Sun-News, N.M.

Jul. 4--LAS CRUCES -- Happy trails to us. Because we "represent the heart and soul of America," Las Cruces has been selected as the April 2009 host city for the next season of a unique reality TV show, "Best of America By Horseback," an honor expected to draw thousands of horses and their riders here and attract millions of viewers.

"Las Cruces was chosen primarily due to the friendliness of the people, because of their work to encourage tourism and the quality of their government leadership. Further, we feel Las Cruces best represents the heart and soul of America. Other cities considered included El Paso, San Diego, Phoenix and Fort Worth, among many others. Neither the cities nor their staff had any knowledge they were evaluated and considered," said Michelle Turner, the show's public relations director.

Turner announced plans are underway to initiate a new horseback adventure across America.

"The horseback trail ride will begin in late April of 2009 in Las Cruces and conclude in Canada in September of 2009," she said.

In 1995, the show's producers, Tom and Pat Seay, organized the Transcontinental Trail Ride from the Atlantic to the Pacific which was covered by CNN and several other media outlets and featured in a

European television documentary on the American West. The event inspired the "Best of America by Horseback" television series, which airs three times each week on RFD-TV, with 10 million viewers per week via DirecTV, Dish Network, Comcast, Mediacom and other outlets.

"In addition to their regular shows, "Best of America by Horseback' will be producing a whole new television series based on this trail ride. It will be filmed in high definition for the new series by director Pat Seay and cameraman/assistant editor, David Londrey. All of the 2,000 riders who have ridden with us in the past year will be invited to ride with us for the kick off in Las Cruces. The Back Country Horsemen chapters across America will assist in coordinating the route and will join the ride," Turner said.

"Of my entire career, this will certainly be the highlight. I am looking forward to coming to Las Cruces, not only for this ride, but to visit with people who have impressed us so much," Tom Seay stated in an announcement of the city's choice as host.

Turner said the show's producers are researching local resources.

"Plans are under way and we are searching for a gathering place for riders from all over the country, a facility to host a reception and banquet for the kick-off, which will include national sponsors in attendance, and perhaps a parade in which the people of Las Cruces may participate and ride for the show. "Best of America by Horseback's' featured Western entertainer, Del Shields, will provide a music concert for the celebration. I am looking forward to meeting Mayor Ken Miyagishima and working with Carolyn Horner (the mayor's administrative assistant) to coordinate a wide range of activities that will celebrate Las Cruces and the beginning of a great American adventure," Turner said.

Horner said she hopes to meet with producers in July and invited those interested in working with the project to contact her at (575) 541-2067.

"I'm a fan of the show, and as a horse person myself, I'm very excited that the show is coming here, and about working with them and local people to provide the facilities and things they require," Horner said.

For information, visit the show's Web site at www.bestofamericabyhorseback.com

S. Derrickson Moore can be reached at [email protected]


At a glance

What: "Best of America by Horseback" TV show

Host City: Las Cruces

Riders invited: 2,000 plus

Las Cruces launch: Late April for a trail ride ending in Canada in September 2009

Broadcast: Weekly on RFD-TV, DISH Network channel 231, DirecTV channel 379, Mediacom Cable, Comcast Cable

Info: www.americabyhorseback.com


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Copyright (c) 2008, Las Cruces Sun-News, N.M.

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