Quail Park History (Work in Progress)
First event at Quail Park was a mud bog. (Spring of 1995)
First rodeo was Rex Allen Days Rodeo (October 1995)
The City of Willcox provided the land. The original plans set the arena and ball fields off of Fort Grant Road to created corridor along Fort Grant Road for future economic development projects.
The Willcox Sheriff’s Posse donated the original arena panels and bleachers. Also dirt from the old Sheriff’s Posse arena was hauled to Quail Park and used to create the pad for the bleachers. The bleachers were elevated to accommodate the box seats. To move the bleachers wheels and tongue were attached and a tractor pulled the bleachers from Airport Road to Quail Park. The roof was removed from one set of bleachers and re-attached after being moved. The second bleacher was moved with the roof in place.
Rex Allen Days, Inc donated $10,000 in cash.
A State Parks Grant was obtained for $166,5000. The matching funds for this grant was the RAD cash and the in-kind donation of labor of the local volunteers. The grant was for the development of a multi-use facility, thus the rodeo arena, mud bog area, the ball fields, and the original plans showed a “Par course” with a walking trail.
The arena layout is patterned similar to the rodeo arena of Rawhide in Phoenix, the Tucson Rodeo Grounds and the Silver City rodeo arena.
There were many volunteers that helped develop Quail Park. There were a few key ones…
Danny Chastain- Moved the bleachers and was in charge of the arena construction. He did the earliest drawings of the overall facility.
Steve Seplak- built the announcer stand.
Gene Moreman- built the bucking chutes
Eddie Browning- brought the City, RAD, the Willcox Sheriff’s Posse together. Wrote the State Park Grant and tracked the in-kind labor.
The inmates of Fort Grant did a lot of the welding on the box seats.
The development of the ball fields came later with Gary Truskee as the key person with the Parks & Recreation Commission.