After a year’s preparation, local youths showed off their skills at the 4-H Horse Show at the Douglas County Fairgrounds on Saturday morning.
Thirty-four members, ages 7 to 18, participated in this year’s show, said Darby Zaremba, one of the show’s superintendents.
Participants competed in four competitions. The show started at 9 a.m. with the halter competition, in which the handler leads the horse and shows off the horse’s build. Then participants compete in English and Western riding competitions. The competition ends with short-course races.
In addition to learning how to handle horses, Zaremba said 4-H teaches members lifelong skills, such as public speaking.
“It’s good for the kids; it gives them some responsibility,” she said. “It gives them confidence.”
Matt Wilson, a 13-year-old from Lawrence, competed with his horse, Scooter. His parents were both 4-H members, so Matt said it was a “no-brainer” to show horses. He said the club has been a positive experience.
“I think it will help me later in life because it teaches you life skills, like responsibility and leadership,” Matt said.
Participants competed for the first-prize purple ribbon. Second place received a blue ribbon, and third received white.
Taylor Springer, a 16-year-old from Lawrence, won a purple ribbon in the halter competition, although she attributed most of the success to her horse, Harvey.
The show is part of the Douglas County Fair’s week-long 4-H competitions, which will continue throughout next week. The fair continues this morning with an Open Horse show, open to all participants.