4-H’ers work long hours

Staff writer

Fair organizers aren’t the only ones busy with fair preparations this week. The first real event of the fair, a 4-H dog show, took place Saturday, even though the first official day of the fair is today.

Happy Hustler member Tristan Williams had a busy day Monday preparing for the fair’s horse show Monday evening and her other fair projects.

She started bright and early by caring for her six rabbits, five of which she will be showing at the fair.

“I have to play with them to get them used to being messed with, being flipped over when giving my talk before the judge,” she said. “I have to groom them, feed them, and clean out the rabbit cages every morning.”

On days like Monday and Tuesday, Tristan had to take extra time to move the rabbits inside after heat indexes reached more than 100 degrees.

Tristan started baking her four food projects at 7 a.m. Monday and finished at 11:30 a.m. Her food projects had to be finished Monday in time for food judging early Tuesday.

After a quick lunch, she went to her grandma’s farm, where her horses are kept, to prepare them for the show.

The day before she spent between three and four hours clipping both horses and several more hours cleaning her saddle and other tack in addition to practicing her routines for the show.

Tristan’s quarter horse, Smokey, and miniature horse, Mira, got an extra long bath, and a more meticulous grooming. Tails and manes were braided in a process that took nearly three hours before they were loaded, with all their gear, into a trailer headed for the fairgrounds.

“Certain classes you are suppose to have the horses manes banded, which accentuates the neck,” said Natasha Craig who has two kids, Cadence and Kalea, showing horses. “You do this all the way down their entire mane about every 1 to 2 inches depending in the desired look.”

Banding can take several hours to get the mane perfectly spaced and in equal bundles.

“We also use several different products to shine and polish our horses’ face and coat and make her look pretty,” Craig said. “It’s kind of like getting around in the morning and putting makeup on.”

Check in for the show was 4:30 p.m. Once at the fairgrounds, competitors had their paperwork checked, did final grooming, including putting polish on horses hooves, and did warm up exercises.

Tuesday’s events included food and life-skills judging.

Today’s events include judging for pigeons, poultry, rabbits, posters, woodworking, wildlife, space technology, entomology, geology, floriculture, horticulture, banners and displays, photography, arts and crafts, fiber arts, home environment, cookie jar, and swine.

Thursday will feature sheep and goats beginning at 8 a.m., and a cattle and beef show beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Dairy goat and cattle will be shown at 8 a.m. Friday followed by archery, a style revue, and a livestock sale beginning at 6:30 p.m. After the sale an ice-cream social and dance will finish 4-H events.

This year the fair will extend into Saturday with events all day long.

A 5-kilometer walk/run will begin at 7:45 a.m. A parade at 10 a.m. will be followed by a livestock showcase, a goat milking contest at 11 a.m., water events from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., a tractor show from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., turtle races at noon, and barnyard Olympics at 1 p.m. 4-H buildings will be open until 2 p.m. The day will culminate in a demolition derby at 7 p.m.

Other events include a rodeo beginning at 8 tonight and Thursday, a tractor pull at 7 p.m. Friday, and a carnival from 6 to 11 p.m. Today through Saturday with additional hours from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

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