The Douglas County Fair continued Sunday morning with the Open Horse Show.
More than 50 participants of all ages and experience levels displayed their skills in a variety of events. Participants competed for purple, blue and white ribbons along with various prizes, including trophies and saddlebags.
Gretchen Brumm, one of the event’s superintendents, said the event was a great way for families to spend the day, featuring several activities for kids.
One event was a competition for younger riders to show with the help of an older relative or friend. Josie Scharfenberg, a 5-year-old from Ohio visiting her grandparents, participated with her aunt. The duo won the “outstanding” blue ribbon, which earned them a two-foot trophy.
There was also a stick-horse show for children not quite old enough to ride a horse. Brumm’s husband made the stick horses for the children to choose and name.
“The judge will be out there judging them, and they ride and do everything like the big horses do,” Brumm said. “We have a lot of fun with it.”
Multiple generations participated together, like Halley Flory, 6, and her grandfather, Ted Madl, from Baldwin City.
Halley won the grand champion prize in her age group’s halter competition. She competed in the open show this year because she isn’t old enough for the 4-H Club. But, if family tradition is an indicator, she’ll compete in the club’s contest next year.
“She will be the third generation of 4-H members on both sides of the family,” said Josie Flory, Halley’s mother.
“It’s just to show people that though they can be expensive, horses are a good investment and teach kids responsibility,” Brumm said of the open horse show.
Peggy Wenger, 77, also participated in the show. The Lecompton resident said she started showing horses 20 years ago; her daughter was already showing, so she decided to try it out for herself. Later Sunday, she watched her great-granddaughter show in her first competition.