Hanging out part of the 4-H Fair experienceJuly 19, 2018
By KATHLEEN MESSMER
Herald News Intern
BRETZVILLE — “She’s like one of my best friends and I don’t get to see her very often. So I love fair week with her,” said 11-year-old Addyson Kane of Huntingburg as she motioned to her friend Addie Schafer, 11, of Ferdinand.
The two friends, along with 11-year-old Isabelle Flamion of Huntingburg and 12-year-old Katey Schafer hung out, literally, in colorful, suspended hammocks strung across a horse stable Wednesday night at the Dubois County 4-H Fair.
Though the days are long at the fairgrounds, the girls would not trade it for the world. Cousins Addyson and Isabelle became friends with sisters Katey and Addie through 4-H.
“My brother started hanging out with Katey. Then I started hanging out with Addie and we found out we had a lot in common, like our name, our age ... my brother calls me and Addie Thing 1 and Thing 2,” Addyson said as she glanced at Addie with a smile. “All of the siblings kind of just became friends.”
Having been at the fairgrounds all day, monkeying around in the hammocks was a nice break off of their feet.
“My mom had to chaperone (the horses) last night, so my brother slept in the hammock. My mom and I slept in chairs,” Addyson described sleeping in the barn. Her family also keeps a trailer at the fairgrounds and sleeps in that when they do not have to chaperone.
“We call our trailer a very expensive porta-potty because we have to use those at rodeos,” Addyson joked. She and her brother often compete in rodeos in Salem, Indiana.
Isabelle, Addyson and Katey competed in multiple horse events this week at the fair and have been riding for several years.
Both Isabelle and Addyson began riding when they were 5-years-old. The cousins began riding after Addyson’s brother got in the saddle. Her brother gained interest after attending his first rodeo. He and the cousin’s grandfather taught them how ride, while also receiving advice from other riders in 4-H.
Katey also got into riding because of an older sibling.
“My sister is the one who started it all. She started riding with my grandma and uncle. I wanted to try it and I ended up liking it, so I started showing,” Katey said. Katey’s younger sister Addie does not ride, but just enjoys helping and supporting her sister.
Isabelle and her 28-year-old horse Goldie competed in flags and halter class. Though her horse got hurt, Isabelle received third place in flags, which is her favorite event.
Isabelle and Addyson explained how they received Goldie. The horse was given to their family at age 21 by one of their grandpa’s good friends whose daughter outgrew the horse.
Addyson and her horse, Tuff, also competed in flags, along with speed and action, poles, Western riding and halter class. In speed and action and poles, the rider is scored on the timing of their run. Western riding does not involve speed, but how well of a rider the 4-H member is.
“Halter class is how pretty your horse is,” Addyson explained. “It took me hours to get my horse ready. We had to scrub him with a loofah until he was shining. We had to put a chain halter on him so he would obey us, because the chain hurts a little bit when you pull on it.”
Katey and her horse Red competed in barrels, flags and poles.
“I like flags the best,” Katey said. She even received first place in the flag event.
Though competitors in the arena, the friends do not let that deter their friendship.
“Me and Katey were neck and neck last night,” Addyson said. “I got first in poles and Katey was behind by a second. I got second in barrels and she got first by a second.”
The girls have completed all of their events, and now it is time to relax and have fun.
“Tomorrow and Friday are just fun days,” Addyson said.
On Friday, the Wrangler’s Horse and Pony Club puts on a horse and pony fun show. The show involves several fun events for the riders and their horses to participate in.
“I really like the costume contest,” Isabelle said. “I’m going to be a doctor and my horse is going to be my patient. He’s going to have bandages all over him.”
“I’m going to dress up as a clown because of the emojis on my stable,” Addyson said. Addyson, who likes to make people laugh, decorated her horse’s stable with memes and emojis. One meme entails a photo of a pony and reads, “Can I trouble you for a glass of water? I’m a little-hoarse.”
“The tug of war is really fun,” Katey said. “All of the barns get teams together and compete against each other.”
Other events in the fun show involve sack races and balancing an egg on a spoon while riding a horse.
The cat’s meow
In his first year in cat judging, 12-year-old Tyler Stemle of Ireland and his cat Buddy were Grand Champions at the Dubois County 4-H Fair.
Six cats were evaluated and judged on Wednesday afternoon at the fair. For several 4-H members, this was the first year bringing their cat to judging.
Ten-year-old Logan Fischer of Ferdinand has been in 4-H for three years, but this was his first year showing cats. Logan rescued his 2-year-old cat Boo, who came with that name when Logan adopted him. Logan received a blue ribbon and tied for champion in the Junior class.
“The judge told me I need to stop feeding him so much and that he needs to exercise,” Logan explained. Showing his cat was his favorite project this year. Logan also does projects such as ceramics, candle making and robotics.
Lauren Klem of St. Anthony, 12, has been showing cats for two years. Her cat, Glamour, is 3-years-old. The judge asked Lauren, along with the other competitors, the kind of food she feeds her cat, the type of litter she uses and other questions about the care and health of her cat. Lauren also does projects such as Leggo’s, painting and drawing.
“My favorite part of 4-H is all the activities you get to do,” Lauren said. “I love seeing all the projects and the rides.”
Lauren was awarded a blue ribbon and Reserve Champion in the older class.
Tyler and Buddy, who is 2-years-old, were victorious as Champion in their class and Grand Champion overall. Tyler became interested in the cat judging competition through his older sister Kate.
“She did it last year and inspired me to do it this year,” Tyler said.
Tyler has been in 4-H for 4 years and is also involved in shooting sports and ceramics.
“I like getting ribbons,” Tyler said. “My favorite project is shooting sports.”
Tyler and Buddy had everything the judge was looking for.
“The kids knew all of the answers to my questions, such as the weight of the cat, what they eat, how often they brush them, etc.” she told the audience.
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