Horse show kicks off county fair

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The Junior Horse High Points awards for Friday and Saturday's Open Horse show were a strictly Snowden affair. That's because the High Points and Reserve High Points awards went to sisters Kacey and Jessica Snowden.

Kacey also captured the High Points award for the 14- to 18-year-old section of the show.

"To tell the truth, I wasn't expecting to do as well as I did in the show, since I'm involved in so many other 4-H projects," said Kacey Snowden, who is also the 2001 Moffat County Fair Queen. "But I'm happy with finishing were I did."

The Open Horse show was held this weekend to open the 83rd annual Moffat County Fair. There were around 50 participants this year, with the majority of the competitors being in the younger classes.

The horse show was open to anyone who wished to compete.

In the 10-and-under category, overall point leader Kristina Wheeler took top honors, while Nate Moon pulled into reserve.

In the 11- to 13-year-old section of overall points, Nicole Keen placed first and Sarah Kawcak pulled in the reserve spot.

The 14- to 18-year old section found Kacey Snowden in the high points spot, while Amanda Lyster got reserve.

Finally, Connie LeFever captured the high points for the adult section, with Leigh Gillingham in reserve.

The top-spot in the high points were awarded custom-made belt buckles from the Johnson Metal Company out of Denver.

The show was made up of three main sections English, Western and show classes.

The English section of the show was held Friday night in the Moffat County Fairgrounds outdoor arena, and had two main sections for riders to compete in Hunter and English Equitation.

The Hunter section of the English show is a rail ride, and the horse is the main thing that is judged.

"In the Hunter section of the show, the judge is mainly concerned with how the horse itself performs. They look at its willingness to work and the correctness of its leads," said Connie LeFever, one of the show's organizers. "Equitation, on the other hand, judges the rider more, and instead of riding the rail, the rider will follow a pattern the judge has drawn up."

The Western section is judged much the same way, except the riders are riding in a Western style instead of the flat-saddle English style.

For the actual show class of the horse show, the horse is not ridden. It is lead into the arena by a halter lead and the horsemen is judged in two main sections showmanship and halter.

The showmanship section is much like the Equitation in the English and Western shows, in that the person is judged more than the horse itself. Judges look at how well the horse and trainer work together to make the most flawless performance.

In the Halter class, participants are judged completely on the horse itself, and what the judge perceives to be the perfect representation of its class.

Besides the Western, English and Show, participants also competed in a trail section, poles, barrels and reining.

Participation in he show has been increasing for the past few years, mainly because of its affordability.

"There's not a lot of overhead to the County Fair show, so it doesn't cost that much to get involved with," LeFever said. "Because it is affordable, it's a good place for inexperienced horsemen to compete."

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