The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
by: Macy Davis, Special For The Quill
It was a sweltering 94 degree day last Saturday, but, as the saying goes, the show must go on! A saying taken to heart by the 4-Her's who turned out with their horses to the Henderson County 4-H Horse show, held just outside of Lomax.
First on the agenda were the halter and showmanship classes. During halter classes, club members were judged on how the horses were presented, things such as whether or not the horses have been bathed, trimmed, and clipped.
Following the halter classes came the showmanship classes, where the contestants were judged on how well they were able to handle and anticipate their horse's actions.
In the Junior Division, Mason Butler won Champion Horse, the Senior Division brought rider Caleb Olson to the champion slot, and in the final age group, the Advanced Division, Faith Schleich won the champion title.
After the tack class and a short intermission, the cowboys and girls saddled up their horses for the National Anthem. A tradition where two riders are chosen to carry the American Flag and the 4-H Flag, leading a procession of numerous horses and riders around the arena as the American National Anthem is played.
Then the riders exit the arena in preparation for the performance classes. Open Walk/Trot, where the riders are required to only walk or trot their horses, Western Pleasure, where the riders may be asked to walk, trot, or canter, and many other classes that challenge the 4-H members on their horsemanship and riding skills.
The end of the night brought classes that most of us had been waiting for. Games! From barrels to costume classes, the riders were ready to relax and just have a great time.
First came the speed events. Events that get your blood pumping and adrenaline going just watching the horse and rider execute those perfect, or disappointingly, in some cases, not so perfect turns.
It was an exciting race with Dakotah Ferguson beating Samantha Scott by only .8 seconds!
The Pole Bending competition was next, a race where riders maneuver their horses as quickly as possible in a zig-zag pattern around several erect poles.
A new game, Bribe-Your-Horse, was introduced at this year's show. A game where a horse is turned loose in the arena and the rider tries to "lead" it with a treat and follow a particular pattern. Sometimes this works, and other times it doesn't, evident in the array of times, which varied from the fastest time which was 9.2 seconds, to the longest, 35.7 seconds.
But win or lose, everyone had a great time and ended the night on a good note. Hope to see ya'll next year at the 4-H Henderson County Horse Show!
Apache decides to have a snack after Faith Schleich wins Champion Horse.
-photo by Macy Davis