Horse show re­turns to county fair this year

Maryland Independent - - News - By TIFFANY WAT­SON twat­son@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @Tif­fIndyNews

Go­ing to the fair is a tra­di­tional fall ac­tiv­ity, and res­i­dents gear­ing up for this year’s Charles County Fair will be glad to know the Univer­sity of Mary­land Ex­ten­sion Charles County 4-H is bring­ing the Horse and Pony Show back.

The 4-H Horse and Pony Show will take place at the Charles County Fair­grounds on Sun­day, Sept. 18, with reg­is­tra­tion open at 7 a.m. and a show start time of 8 a.m. The 4-H award pre­sen­ta­tion will be­gin at 4 p.m. in six di­vi­sions: Western W/J JR Rider, English W/T JR Rider, Western W/J INT/SR Rider, English W/T INT/SR Rider, Western WJL INT/SR Rider and English WTC INT/SR Rider.

“The horse show has been away from us for a few years and now it’s back and I’m ex­cited about it,” fair Pres­i­dent J.T. Hin­dle said. “Peo­ple are talk­ing about look­ing for­ward to it com­ing back and this way the chil­dren have the horse show here and they can feel a part of the fair here. Ad­mis­sion cov­ers the horse show, and they get to see the rest of the fair as well. I think it will be a great show­ing this year.”

Bon­nie Boy­den, Univer­sity of Mary­land Ex­ten­sion Charles County 4-H pro­gram man­age­ment spe­cial­ist, said the 4-H uses the fair to fi­nal­ize the end of the year for the 4-H pro­gram.

“We haven’t had it at the fair for a cou­ple of years so we are bring­ing it back there this year,” Boy­den said. “The horse show be­came dif­fi­cult to do with the time­frame. It used to be on the Fri­day of the fair but with all of the rides and ac­tiv­i­ties go­ing on that day, it was spook­ing the horses so we had moved it off of the grounds. The last cou­ple of years we talked about bring­ing it back and worked out a time to be able to do it. The rides won’t be op­er­a­tional dur­ing the Sun­day morn­ing at the fair­grounds, so it will work out bet­ter for par­tic­i­pants.” Boy­den said par­tic­i­pants ages 8-18 will be dis­play­ing rid­ing skills, show­ing how well they ma­neu­ver their horses, and how well they han­dle the horse by hal­ter or by rid­ing. They will demon­strate their skills and judges will place them based on how well they demon­strate those skills.

Ac­cord­ing to the ex­ten­sion ser­vice, there are more than 800 youth in­volved in the pro­gram. The youth in Charles County par­tic­i­pate in camps, ro­bot­ics, small pets, en­vi­ron­men­tal science work­shops, hor­ti­cul­ture, shoot­ing sports, live­stock, horse and teen lead­er­ship pro­grams. Through the pro­grams they learn life skills such as de­ci­sion-mak­ing, in­de­pen­dence, pub­lic speak­ing and record keep­ing. The 4-H club has been a part of Charles County since 1912 with a motto of “Learn by Do­ing.”

Boy­den said that in ad­di­tion to the horse show on Sun­day morn­ing, the Charles County 4-H live­stock shows will be held on Thurs­day at 5 p.m. and Fri­day evening where par­tic­i­pants will show their swine, beef and sheep. On Satur­day night, 4-H will hold its live­stock auc­tion, open to the pub­lic.

Miss Charles County Farm Bureau Hay­ley Tanner, 16, said she looks for­ward to see­ing the horse show re­turn. She will also be show­ing her own farm an­i­mals that she raised since the be­gin­ning of the year.

“The youth par­tic­i­pants have their 4-H ex­hibits, specif­i­cally what they made through­out the year in 4-H on dis­play at the 4-H build­ing that will be at the fair,” Boy­den said.

“One of my fa­vorite parts of the Charles County Fair is watch­ing the horse show and the Queen Ni­cotina con­test,” Tanner said. “I like pro­mot­ing my projects to the pub­lic and pro­mot­ing agri­cul­ture be­cause agri­cul­ture is ev­ery­where, and you can be proud of it. I think it’s some­thing that needs to be con­tin­ued through fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.”

She will be show­ing mar­ket goats, lambs and pigs at the fair, which she has raised since Jan­uary. Tanner said she is hop­ing to come home with the pur­ple rib­bon — Grand Cham­pion — and will take her an­i­mals into the show ring like a cham­pion.

“A lot of peo­ple think we just raise an­i­mals but we have our wildlife com­po­nent, arts and crafts, and dif­fer­ent con­tents of pur­chase power to learn what prod­ucts to buy in stores,” Boy­den said. “Many of the par­tic­i­pants get a chance to show the gen­eral pub­lic how well they have done and com­pete against the other 4-H par­tic­i­pants. Peo­ple should come ob­serve all of the things that the youth learn through­out the 4-H pro­gram such as an­i­mal hus­bandry, train­ing the an­i­mals and our 4-H build­ing gives peo­ple an op­por­tu­nity to see ev­ery­thing that 4-H has to of­fer.”

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