Last weekend was County Fair, which, for us, serves as the culmination of the 4H year. One is provided a different perspective when working "behind the scenes" at these events. The sheer number of volunteer hours that go into operating one of these shows is staggering. Getting people to volunteer is a continuing problem, and, typically, 10% of us do 90% of the work. While it grates on my nerves at times to see the usual supsects sitting on their duffs, you won't hear me complain. I truly enjoy working these shows, and, having proven myself a reliable volunteer, I get the better jobs, as will be seen later.
The days started early, with horses being fed at 6am. Once the horses had eaten, activity picked up in earnest. Horses were cleaned of whatever substance they had rolled in during the night, and thoroughly groomed, so as to look their best. The more spirited horses were lunged or ridden in the practice arena to take the edge off. With DN2 & DN3 showing horses in Western and English performance, Mrs. BR stayed busy helping with hair, makeup and show clothes, while I worked to prep the arena for the days events. This involved dragging the arena, erecting the barricades, chalking, as well as setting up trail, jumping, and dressage courses.
Mother Nature was on our side, with the skies overcast with temperatures in the upper 60's and lower 70's. Perfect show weather.
This years judges were unusually tough. Results, across the board, were not up to the standards that had been experienced throughout the show season. This resulted in no small amount of controversy, but in the end, judging is subjective, and the placings were fairly consistent from class to class.
This is DN2's last season. She and the other graduating Seniors were presented with their Belt Buckles (rather fancy ones, I might add), and formally recognized during Senior Recognition. She is also an alternate for the State Team. She went to State Fair last year, so, having "been there, done that", she isn't too disappointed. Due to cuts in the State Fair, the number of riders permitted this year is smaller, by half. And we will be taking them to the Central Washington Fair, in October, which, if given the choice, is the fair they would rather attend.
Western Equitation Class awaiting placings:
The best looking riders out there:
And, lest you think only the kids get to have fun at the fair, here is yours truly keeping the road apple pile at bay:
I knew playing with those Tonka trucks when I was a kid would eventually pay off.
Sunday afternoon, everyone gathered for the Awards Ceremony. With several of the presenters being a tad long winded, this event began to get a little long in the tooth, but after two hours, mercifully it came to and end. Which led to the mad dash to clear the barns. Decorations were taken down, stalls cleaned, tack packed up, and horses trailered. Finally, barn checks completed, vowing never to eat fair food again, we headed for home.
I think it was Wednesday before we fully recovered...