Advertisement

Archive for Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Critters of all kinds preparing for fair

Milena Hubbell of the Clinton Eagles 4-H Club works with her llama, Dalai, on jumping a board Monday in anticipation of the Douglas County Fair competition. Her brother Piper, also in 4-H, works on training another llama, Tina.

Milena Hubbell of the Clinton Eagles 4-H Club works with her llama, Dalai, on jumping a board Monday in anticipation of the Douglas County Fair competition. Her brother Piper, also in 4-H, works on training another llama, Tina.

July 24, 2012

Advertisement

A pet and dog show Saturday marked the beginning of two weeks of 4-H contests and shows at the Douglas County Fair.

Getting llamas ready for the Douglas County Fair

Milena and Piper Hubbell of the Clinton Eagles 4-H club have been spending a lot of time with their llamas as the prepare for the Douglas Count Fair. Enlarge video

For 14-year-old Bailey Hiersche, this will be her fourth time participating in the fair’s rabbit show. She joined 4-H because a friend of hers was in it, and Hiersche has since had success at the county, state and national levels.

She has won champion in breed two times at the Douglas County Fair, was the reserve champion in breed at the Kansas State Fair and second best overall in breed at the national level.

Hiersche said it feels good to win and that 4-H has taught her responsibility and caring.

“It’s a very good opportunity,” Hiersche said. “It’s fun to do anything. You don’t even have to have animals to be in 4-H. There are all types of things.”

Eleven-year-old Adelai Spears is participating in 4-H entomology and forestry contests. Spears has always had a love of bugs and keeps Madagascar hissing cockroaches as pets. After joining 4-H, she immediately decided she wanted to be a part of the entomology project.

To prepare for the Douglas County Fair, Spears spent a lot of time outside collecting bugs. She then freezes the bugs, identifies them and mounts them in a certain order in a show box.

“I love nature and going out there and searching for plants and bugs,” Spears said.

Piper Hubbell, 13, and younger sister Milena Hubbell, 8, spend their time outdoors preparing for their project, too. Piper and Milena train and show llamas. The Hubbell family has been in the llama contest for five years and owns four llamas. This year Piper and Milena are bringing three llamas to the Douglas County Fair.

The llama division has five classes the two must prepare for: obstacle, pack, public relations, showmanship and costume. The majority of the work is training the llama to run through an obstacle course that includes a teeter-totter, hula hoop and going under a limbo-like stick with streamers.

Piper said llamas can be stubborn and, if he or Milena gets frustrated, the llamas don’t cooperate, so they must be patient.

“If you overreact they’ll do even worse, so what’s challenging is staying calm,” Piper said.

Kim Hubbell, Piper and Milena’s mother, said learning traits like patience and responsibility is what 4-H is all about.

“The relationship they have with the animals reflects future relationships with others and that’s what I feel like 4-H is, that later-life stuff,” she said. “I know my kids are better kids because of it.”

Comments

Leslie Swearingen 2 years, 6 months ago

I love it! Lucky kids, I wish them all luck. The llamas will also teach them to be good parents as behavior wise there does not seem to be that much difference between a llama and a small child. The more you dig in your heels, the more they dig in.

Orwell 2 years, 6 months ago

Nice story, but I doubt there are any animals preparing for the fair. They all have better things to do when it's left up to them.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.