Friday, February 23, 2007
Women Step Into Pit At Cockfighting Derby
The Associated Press
HOBBS Priscilla Pando shouted encouragement to her rooster as she circled the cockfighting pit, her hands and clothes covered with dirt from the floor.
It was a so-called "Powder Puff Derby," an opportunity for women to participate in the bloodsport of cockfighting at a time when New Mexico lawmakers are considering a cockfighting ban, which would leave Louisiana as the only state where the activity is legal.
"It's exciting when you hear all the people screaming, trying to tell you what to do," said Pando, a Lovington resident who first attended cockfights with her father when she was 4. "We can do this, too, not just the guys."
The women's derby, which was held Saturday, is a once-a-year event at Tommy's Place, a cockfighting pit north of Hobbs.
Stacy Kelly of Hobbs handled the roosters for the first time during Saturday night's bouts. She thought her husband, Jim, was joking when he told her they were going to the women's derby.
"At the scales, I was scared," she said. "Once I got into the pit, it was fun."
Kelly's rooster won in about two minutes, delivering a fatal cut to its opponent. Her 10-year-old daughter, Jessica, enjoyed watching the cockfight but said she was nervous that her mom might get cut.
Another first-time handler, Tracy Castillo of Anton, Texas, said she enjoyed the experience.
"I lost, but, win or lose, I still had fun," she said.
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