Fair Time!

By Jennifer Paulson, Managing Editor

Participants in the Douglas County Fair convene before the showmanship classes.

Growing up, this was my favorite time of year?County and State Fair! I competed in Douglas County, Colorado, as a youth, doing the horse project (and a few various others on the side). I have so many great memories of staying at the fairgrounds to get up early to prep the horses for the day, competing against great pals, and appreciating all the other projects my friends outside horses worked hard to complete.

Last weekend, Julie and I headed down to Western day at the Douglas County fair to take some photos. While the setting has changed greatly?we never had an indoor arena?the scene is still the same. Kids dressed in their best show attire, their horses groomed and shiny, and lots of mom-child banter. (At least that’s what we’ll call it. I’d like to apologize to my mom, because I know I snapped at her way too many times during stressful horse-show moments.)

I also just got off the phone with Colorado trainer Devin Warren to plan a photo shoot for October’s Private Lesson. He’s helping his son prepare for his county fair’s Master Showman class, the one the winner and reserve in each species’ showmanship class gets to compete in. I told Devin to be prepared, if it was anything like back in the ’90s when I did it. Called Round Robin then, I had to show not only large animals like steers, lambs, and hogs, but also chickens and rabbits. Devin said he’d better make a few phone calls to find out if his son would need extra preparation.

That’s yours truly competing at the 1993 Colorado State Fair. No chaps allowed in horsemanship back then, if you can believe it.

Are you a current 4-H competitor? If you showed at the county or state fair this year, we’d love to hear how you did. And if you’re a 4-H graduate, please share your fun memories of the year-end shows.

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