SIDNEY – July 25 at Junior Fair was host to the English horse show as well as the general livestock show.
Laci Hutchinson, 15, has been showing horses with 4-H for 11 years. She said an important part of her class is posting, or moving up and down in the saddle to smooth out movement while the horse trots, which takes a lot of practice to do correctly.
The horse also has to be able to clear jumps, and Laci said the judges watch to make sure riders have gotten their horses properly centered and that the animals take the correct posture.
It takes dedication to master this class, which had about 13 contestants. Despite the challenges of training the animal and getting it to follow commands, Laci said that personally, she finds preparing her horse and braiding its tail to be the most difficult part.
Ben Goettemoeller, 15, showed livestock for his third year. He has more experience, though, as he’s been on farms his whole life.
Ben said judges look for animals with wide hips but not so wide that they’re unstable.
To prepare for showing, Ben said there’s a variety of sprays they use to make the cow’s hair stand up, making the animal appear just a little bit wider. He said they also blow-dry the animal’s hair upward, fanning it out to further this effect.
Ben said the biggest challenge is being able to control the animal.
“He weighs 1,238 pounds right now,” Ben said as he looked to the cow he was corralling.
Keeping livestock calm and under control takes great experience.
“You have to be able to drag them around and not have them drag you around,” Ben said.
The writer is a summer intern with the Sidney Daily News.