SIDNEY — Children gathered around the horse arena Wednesday evening, clad in costumes fit for princesses and ogres alike as part of the annual Horse Costume Contest at the Shelby County Fair.
Open to participants ages 8 to 18 years old, participants in the contest are given a theme and have two months to prepare a costume for themselves and their horse, to be presented during fair to a panel of judges. Awards are given for best construction, most original, funniest, first place in class ages 8 to 13, and first place in class ages 14 to 18. This year’s theme was Disney.
Catherine Miller, 16, is a first-time participant in the contest and won first place in the 14-18 competing class and best of show.
“It feels really nice. I’ve been really anxious up to this point. I already have anxiety, and I feel like I can’t do my best, and this shows that I can,” Miller said.
Miller dressed as Pocahontas to present her spotted horse, JJ.
Sophia Brewer, 13, placed first in the 8-13 competing class and won best construction, dressing as the meerkat Timon from “The Lion King.” Brewer fashioned a lion’s mane and tail piece out of tulle for her horse, Bo.
“We thought it would be fun to create a costume,” Brewer said when asked what made her want to enter the contest. “The new movie is coming out and my (older) sister likes the movie, and I like to see Bo in his lion costume.”
Brewer is a first-time participant in the horse costume contest and plans to participate next year.
Anna Hagan, 10, walked away with most original, riding into the track dressed as Snow White from Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” with a crown fit for a queen perched atop her horse’s head.
“I just love dressing up with my horse,” Hagan said. “He’s a pony of the Americas, and he loves his food.”
Hagan picked Snow White for the contest because it’s her sister’s favorite movie.
“I just think that, that movie was out a long time ago, so everybody pretty much knows it, so I was pretty excited when I won most original,” Hagan said.
Wyatt Van Ausdal, 10, brought something a little different to the contest. Dressing up as the ogre Shrek, Osdel presented his Donkey to the judges, walking away with funniest costume and the special needs participation award.
“The horses were just a little over my level, so I had to go with something smaller, and the only thing smaller was a donkey,” Ausdal said.
Ausdal participated in the contest because he thought it would be fun.
Cheyenne Wooddell and Elizabeth Lowe also participated in the contest. Wooddell won honorable mention in best construction, dressing as Merida and dressing her horse as a bear from the movie “Brave.” Lowe, riding into the arena as Anna from “Frozen,” won cutest costume.
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