Horse fun kicks off county fair

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 14, 2006

ROME TOWNSHIP — Major Lucky Buck trotted on a grassy area just outside the exhibition ring at the Lawrence County Fairgrounds Saturday morning, his head high and his step lively.

Atop his back was Summer Cheyenne Shafer of Ironton. Summer had aspirations of taking home an award in the annual horse show. Major didn’t say what his aspirations were but it may have had something to to do with the grass he nibbled on from time to time when he got the chance. Was Summer nervous?

“No,” she shook her blond head. Not a bit. But then, horses are her passion. Summer’s mom, Trish, said the child has loved horses “almost since she could talk.”

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Trish and her husband, Mike, watched the last minute practice before standing at the sidelines to watch the show.

“She used to collect the Breyer horses and her daddy told her if she stayed with it until she was 7 he would get her a horse,” Trish said. “And she did and he got her a horse.”

Now she’s in horse shows and spends her weekends in competitions. So do the folks.

“That’s what’s so nice,” Trish said. “You know where your kids are on the weekend. Not many families can say that, but here, you see teenagers and their families. They’re spending the weekend with their parents. That’s what’s so nice.”

Sonny Hall, of Chillicothe, understands Summer’s passion. He shares it.

Hall, the judge for the event, said he has been an active participant in the horse world for 57 of his 62 years. He has judged a few hundred horse shows from Florida to Pennsylvania to Colorado.

What is it that makes him travel from place to place each summer, judging show after show?

“It’s just the love I have for the horses and the challenge of training and showing them,” he said.

Saturday’s event brought several dozen kids from across the county to compete in 33 classes that ranged from showmanship to pole bending to barrel racing. Hall said he was looking for good interaction and a good relationship between horse and rider.

“Depending on what class it is, I want to see how they show the horse, how the rider is dressed, how they handle their patterns,” he said.

Nine local students will participate in this year’s Ohio State Fair Horse Show. They are Nikki Cosner of Ironton, Jesse Graybeal of Scottown, Brianna Hairston of Ironton, Megan Hairston of Ironton, Travis Jackson of Proctorville, Erika Sipe of Waterloo, Jenni Spradlin of Wheelersburg and Nick Whitley of Chesapeake.

They earned their qualifications at two competitions in June.

Saturday’s horse show is not connected to the state fair competition and is more for the love of the sport and opportunity to win awards horse show officials said.

The horse show was among the first events scheduled in a week of activities at the fair. The fair continues through Saturday.

What’s going on at the fair?


&t;9 a.m. to noon — 4-H and FFA market livestock weigh-in

&t; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. — 4-H booth set up

&t; 9 a.m. — 4-H dog care interviews, followed by the dog show

&t; 1 to 2 p.m. — 4-H and FFA market rabbit and tobacco weigh-in

&t; 7 to 9 p.m. — 4-H and FFA remainder of market livestock weigh-in

&t; 8 p.m. — Wolfe Creek Motocross

&t; 9 p.m. — Barn meeting for all exhibitors


&t; 8 a.m. — 4-H and FFA market rabbit show

&t; 9 a.m. to 1 pm. — 4-H booth set-up

&t; 2 p.m. — 4-H and FFA market tobacco judging and interviews

&t; 4 p.m. — 4-H parade followed by opening ceremony by VFW Post No. 6878; fair queen competition

&t; 5 p.m. — 4-H club booth judging. Winners will be posted.

&t; 6:30 p.m. — 4-H teen leader sweet tooth auction

&t; 7 p.m. — 4-H and FFA market lamb show and showmanship, “old-timer” showmanship if time permits; 4-H and FFA market chicken show and showmanship, fancy poultry, raising pullets, ducks, geese and turkeys, “old-timer” showmanship to follow if time permits

&t; 8 p.m. — Demolition derby


&t; 8 a.m. — 4-H and FFA market hog show

&t; 10 a.m. — Vegetable gardening I, From Seed to Flower, Corn, Lawn Care

&t; 10:30 a.m. — Incredible Egg, Indoor Gardening, Discovering 4-H I, II, III

&t; 11 a.m. — Normal Animal l, Guinea Pig and Small Animals

&t; 11:30 a.m. — Cat I, Cat II, Pet Rabbits

&t; 1 p.m. — Lawrence County Horse Pull

&t; 2 p.m. Barn Olympics

&t; 6 p.m. — 4-H and FFA market goat show and showmanship, “old-timer” showmanship to follow if time permits; Fat Mac Daddy performs

&t; 7 p.m. — 4-H style show and nutrition awards

&t; 8 p.m. Escape artist Michael Griffin