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First-year competitors share love of horses

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Putnam County Fair goers were treated to the first of three 4-H Horse and Pony Shows Monday at the outside arena.

Horse and Pony Supt. My Gilley said a total of 111 kids are involved in the group, including at least 20 first-year participants.

"That's the way it's been for about two years," Gilley said. "The club has really grown in the last couple of years. We've seen more interest in horses. It's a fun event."

Several first-year participants saddled up Monday for their first trip around the outside arena in competition.

Monday marked the first time BreeShauna Porter, 9, competed at the fair. But she was riding a familier horse.

In fact, the horse she competed with, Penny, is 26 years old. BreeShauna's mother, Lisa, showed the same horse 20 years ago.

"This is the one she's picked," Lisa said of her daughter's choice. "They have a very good bond."

Lisa said Penny had not competed since she showed her in 1986.

BreeShauna said it was a natural fit for her to compete.

"I've pretty much been raised around them," she said. "I've been riding Penny since I was 3. I like (horses) because they're so nice, and (Penny) is my favorite horse in the whole wide world."

BreeShauna said she planned on competing in several events, including keyhole and barrels, which both fall under the gaming discipline.

Gilley said there are four disciplines involved in the competition. In addition to gaming, riders can compete in gated, equesterian and English.

BreeShauna said riding around the barrels was her favorite event.

"It's pretty much the easiest, but not that easy," she said.

BreeShauna admitted Monday that she was somewhat nervous about her first competition.

"I'm afraid I'll fall off and get embarassed," she said.

Although Sierra Livesay, 10, has competed before -- having participated in the Bainbridge Saddle Club -- Monday was also her first trip to the outside arena.

"I love riding," said Sierra, the daughter of Scott and Kim Livesay. "I've been riding for two-and-a-half years. My dad rode and that brought me into it."

Sierra was competing with 13-year-old Radar, a mule.

She said she planned to compete in poles and keyhole, both in the gaming discipline, in addition to competing in the costume division, which had a sports theme this year.

Sierra said she was not nervous about competing in the show at all, and that she planned on competing the remainder of her time in 4-H.

"She does pretty good under pressure," her father said.



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