Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

May 6, 2012

Horse play in Greenup

Equestrian events set at fairgrounds

GREENUP — There will be plenty of fun for equestrians at the Greenup County Fairgrounds during the next six months.

Organizers have announced a slate of fun shows, sanctioned barrel races and walking and racking horse shows stretching from mid-May through early October.

The fun shows build on the popularity of last year's events, according to organizers, and are helping to boost the ranks of children participating in 4-H.

The first event of the season at the Greenup County Fairgrounds will be a national Barrel Horse Association Barrel Racing Show on Saturday.

The Greenup County Spring Fun Show and Trade Days will be May 19. Trade Days will begin at 11 a.m., with the fun show beginning at noon. Fun shows will be on the third Saturday through September.

Fun shows will include 20 classes: stick horse, lead line, pony class, beginner ride (12 and younger), open easy gaited, ladies country pleasure, open trail class (western attire), men’s country pleasure (gait), juvenile country pleasure (gait), water glass ride, senior trail pleasure (55 and older), men’s western pleasure (walk and trot), buggy class, women’s country pleasure (walk and trot), juvenile country pleasure (walk and trot), paso fino, spotted saddle trail pleasure, ride-a-buck (no saddles), speed racing and cowboy extreme (obstacles timed).

Booth fees for Trade Days are $10. Class fees for the show are $5, but the stick horse and lead line classes are free. First-place winners receive trophies and ribbons. Second- through fifth-place winners receive ribbons.

Steve Thompson, who was the driving force behind the revival of horse shows last year, said he is “very proud” the community has embraced the idea. He said equestrian sports seem to be gaining popularity throughout the county, with last year’s events attracting hundreds of riders and spectators.

The fun shows are nonsanctioned, which make them more affordable and encourages more participants, he said. “Fun shows are for the people who don’t have the money to go out and do the big show,” he said.

“We try to keep it cheap and reasonable so we can give everybody an opportunity to participate,” said Margaret Hayden, a 4-H equine leader. She and Kim Mullins help organize the shows with Thompson.

Organizers have seen the ranks of children involved with 4-H and learning to ride horses swell in the last year, she said, noting they have about 40 students together.

That’s the point, Thompson said.

“I’m big in trying to get kids involved,” he said.

At one fun show last year, the lead line class had 47 children in the ring. “If there had been any more horses, they would have had to double up. I think that is a good thing to get kids started. We give them all a blue ribbon.”

Fun shows are not 4-H events, but proceeds are donated by the Greenup County Fair Board to the program and to improve the fairgrounds.

For example, Hayden said proceeds from last year’s shows will send 4-H students to regional and state competitions, and an equine barn is planned at the fairgrounds.

For more information, call Hayden at (606) 365-9008 or Mullins at (606) 922-6802.

CARRIE STAMBAUGH can be reached at cstambaugh@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2653.

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