Horses, 4-H take center;br; stage in improved arena

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 9, 1999

The 1999 Mower County Fair 4-H Horse Show debuted Saturday in the newly-improved horse arena at the fairgrounds in Austin.

Monday, August 09, 1999

The 1999 Mower County Fair 4-H Horse Show debuted Saturday in the newly-improved horse arena at the fairgrounds in Austin.

Email newsletter signup

It was a day-long affair for the 4-Hers, their horses and families. Early Saturday morning rains forced the first classes of competition indoors to Crane Pavilion before mid-day sun allowed the competition to take place in the arena.

"It was a long day, but definitely worth it," said Penny Harrington, 4-H horse project leader.

Hooves pounded, dust swirled and nostrils flared as the 4-Hers leaned forward on their mounts and urged them through their paces before the judge’s eyes and the observations of parents, other family members and friends Saturday.

Fifty-one 4-Hers competed for state fair trips this fall.

Randi Smith of the LeRoy Wide Awake 4-H club won grand champion honors in the fifth-grade-and-under judged competition.

Justian Bastian of the Nevada Wide Awake 4-H club won reserve champion honors.

Natalie Morem of the Enterprise 4-H club won a grand champion ribbon in the fifth-grade-and-under timed events.

Chelsey Mullenbach of the Elkton Upstreamers 4-H club won reserve champion honors in the competition.

Trista Munk of the Enterprise 4-H club earned two champion ribbons. She won grand champion honors in the sixth-grade-and-older timed events and a reserve champion in the sixth grade and older judged events.

Lukas Harrington of the Lucky Clovers 4-H club won grand champion honors in the sixth-grade-and-older judged events.

Danielle Morem of the Enterprise 4-H club won the reserve champion ribbon.

Brandon Wiedeman of the Southside 4-H club won first-place (a blue ribbon) honors in horse training – Level No. 1.

Vee Ann Wood was the 1999 horse show’s judge. Due to a recent injury, Wood required the use of a wheelchair and 4-H parent-volunteers dutifully pushed her around the arena to judge the 4-Hers and their horses.

The new horse arena received rave reviews from the 4-Hers and their parents. It comes with new reinforced-steel, 6-foot tall fencing that ensures the safety of competitors and fans.

According to Harrington, 4-H horse project coordinator, this year’s show included 15 new competitors. "It’s growing all the time and I think it’s wonderful," she said of the increasing interest in horse projects.

Harrington praised the 4-H parent-volunteers for helping make Saturday’s show a success. On hand were such familiar faces as Lynette Wradislavsky, Patty Munk, Jay and Lisa Pudenz, Larry Aanonson, Dan Morem and the project leader’s husband, Brian.

In addition, Mel and Darlene Miller, long-time horse project adult-volunteers, helped make the show a success Saturday. The Millers have continued their support of the program since the graduation of their daughter, Wendy, who competed as a 4-Her in her youth.

Although the County Fair doesn’t officially begin until today, the 4-H Horse Show has been held on the Saturday before the Fair begins for three years.

The scheduling proves ideal for everyone with the space around the horse arena giving the 4-Hers room to exercise their horses and room to park horse trailers and pickup trucks.

In addition, there is Crane Pavilion, ready for use in the event of inclement weather.

Next up for the 4-Hers is the Fun Show, beginning 9 a.m. Friday in the outdoor horse arena at the fairgrounds.

Although unable to compete in Saturday’s show, Jesse Munk will make a triumphant return from the world’s finals competition. Munk is expected to arrive his favorite mount in the Friday show, which showcases the 4-Hers skills, but is for the pleasure of riding and not an official competition, according to project leader Harrington.

Munk is the son of Tom and Patty Munk and a member of the Enterprise 4-H club also.

(Editor’s Note: Winners of the 4-H Horse Show and all other livestock and non-livestock competition, as well as Saturday’s ribbon auction, will appear in a special "Best of the Fair" supplement of the Austin Daily Herald sometime after the 1999 Mower County Fair ends.)