At the fair
Here are some Friday events going on at the Allen County Fair, 2726 Carroll Road:
•10 a.m.-10 p.m. 4-H animal contact area on the grounds
•3 p.m. 4-H horse speed and action, horse arena
•3-9 p.m. cow, donkey, & pony rides, waterball court, $3 per ride
•7-10 p.m. music performance by Biff & the Cruisers, free activity stage
Horses and cows trotted and walked through the Allen County Fairgrounds on Wednesday for the 4-H horse showmanship contest and dairy show.
Chloe Buchanan showed her white miniature horse, Louie. She had a few insights into how a horse should be shown for halter class.
She said the first thing a judge looks for is the horse's conformation. Conformation refers to the proportions of a horse's body parts in relation to each other. In the case of Buchanan's miniature horse, it should look “like a big horse sized down.”
Buchanan also said a contestant should always be aware of where the judge is. A judge will walk with a horse along a designated pattern through the show arena and circle the animal to inspect the straightness of its walk or trot, among other things.
The space around a horse is divided into four quadrants to allow a contestant to stay out of the judge's the way.
Buchanan drew an imaginary line down her horse's back from head to rear and another across its withers to illustrate. These lines create four sections: front left and front right by the horse's head and back left and back right by the horse's rear.
The contestant should always be in an opposite quadrant to the one the judge is occupying so he or she can see the judge at all times.
Horses must be able to respond to commands and proceed at varying gaits during the show.
Ron Futurmann said cow showing, on the other hand, has more to do with getting the animal to walk steadily. Futurmann said he has been involved with 4-H and raising dairy cows for 40 years.
He tells his grandson to keep his calf calm in the show arena.
“The easier you move, the easier they move,” Futurmann said.
The cow is in a new and strange environment.
“The cow has to know you” and trust you to lead it, Futurmann explained.
Garret Ternet, 11, practiced walking his Holstein heifer, Mello, Wednesday morning before the show. He said he had to work on getting his cow to not “side step” and to walk straight.
Calves in the dairy show were led by grasping and tugging firmly on their halters. Many did not move willingly.
Ternet also said he brushed the back of his cow to make it even and washed it many times.
“Judges want them to look graceful,” he said.