The Annual Ben Johnson Days hosted by the Goldfield Ghost Riders has events Nov. 6 and 13-14 in Apache Junction.
Events include a fun gymkhana, trailer raffle and two poker rides, with proceeds benefiting children’s charities.
Ben Johnson was an Oklahoma cowboy, world champion roper, rancher, horse-wrangler and star of movies and TV shows. As a humanitarian, he organized many celebrity rodeos that benefited children’s organizations. Johnson took up residence in Mesa and adopted Sunshine Acres Children’s Home as one of his charities. He spent many hours with the children teaching them to rope, according to the Goldfield Ghost Riders’ website, goldfieldghostriders.com.
Ben Johnson Days events are:
- Side by side poker ride Nov. 6 at the Mammoth Steak House at Goldfield Ghost Town, 4650 N. Mammoth Mine Road, 4 miles north of Apache Junction on State Route 88. Cost is $15 for an adult entry, $5 for an extra hand. Must be at least 18 years old to play poker. A Bulldog Canyon pass is required for each off-road vehicle.
- Fun gymkhana Nov. 13 at the Apache Junction Rodeo Grounds, 1590 E. Lost Dutchman Blvd. Registration starts at 11 a.m. and the first event starts at noon. Cost for four games is $15 for an adult entry and $10 for ages 17 and younger. Raffles, T-shirt sales, food and drinks are planned.
- Poker rode Nov. 14 at Goldfield Ghost Town, 4650 N. Mammoth Mine Road, 4 miles north of Apache Junction on State Route 88. Registration starts at 8 a.m. First ride out starts at 9 a.m. and every 30 minutes after. Coffee and breakfast burritos will be available and provided by the Boys & Girls Club. The cost is $28 for the ride, which includes lunch at Mammoth Steakhouse. A limited number of rental horses can be reserved at additional cost. Call Sandie Russell at 480-982-3666.
- Horse trailer raffle drawing. A new Trails West Adventure II three-horse BP from Hay’s Trailer Sales will be given away. The winner has the option to claim the trailer or $3,500 in cash. Tickets are available at sponsors’ locations for $5 each, five for $20 or 15 for $50. Call 480-310-0454 or go to goldfieldghostriders.com/trailer-raffle.html for details. Proceeds are to benefit Sunshine Acres Children’s Home in Mesa and local children’s charities.