The rain didn’t stop coming on day five of the Crawford County Fair, but that didn’t stop area youth from placing in many contests, including four local equestrians, a family of dairy goat farmers and three cattle ranchers.
Skyla Daelhousen, who was competing at the fair for the first time ever, took home the most placing ribbons for Titusville Wednesday, racking up five placing positions with her horse, Miaya. Daelhousen came in first place in the poles run, second in barrels, fourth in the dash for cash, and grabbed two fifth place spots in the cutback and straight barrels.
Daelhousen was particularly proud of her performance in the poles run, as she came in two seconds under her usual time. She finished the poles in 26 seconds, despite having to take it a bit slower at times due to the rain.
“I felt pretty good in it, because it’s the first time I got this high of a score,” Daelhousen said.
She attributed her performance at the fair to two years she spent training with renowned horse trainer Craig Cameron. Cameron was a rodeo competitor for many years, and is also an inductee of the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame.
While new to the world of equestrian competitions, Daelhousen has been riding casually for years. Currently, Miaya is her only competition horse, but she is training two her other horses, Ginger and Skip, to the same levels. She plans to compete at future Crawford County Fairs, potentially with Ginger and Skip.
However, Daelhousen was only one of a group of Titusville equestrians who competed this year as friends. Joining her are Jillian Baldwin, Lainie Davis and Raegen Mullen, each of who won their own competitions.
Baldwin nabbed fifth place in the halter category Wednesday, and also secured first in the jackpot trail on Monday.
“I did okay,” Baldwin said of her performance. “There was a lot of competition, so I tried my best.”
She brought two horses to compete in the fair; Kimmie, a quarterhorse/thoroughbred, and Trickles, a pony of America.
Baldwin has been competing at the fair for three years now, and is involved in 4-H. She got into riding through her mother, who rode horses herself.
Davis grabbed third in driving and fourth in Western Pleasure, while also taking first in equestrian on Monday, as Mullen snagged fourth in Genuine Pleasure, second in barrels, and fifth in English Pleasure.
Davis was actually responsible for getting Mullen into horseback riding a year ago, and as such, the two are doing something unique; competing in the exact same events all week long.
Despite this, Davis said the two aren’t acting competitive towards each other, and have actually helped each other out.
“I’ve kind of helped her with some jumping stuff, and she helped me with barrels,” Davis said.
Mullen got into horse back riding after Davis took her to an auction. While there, she found a horse named Toby, and decided she would take up the hobby with him. Toby is one of two horses Mullen brought, the other a grade pony named Charlie.
A trip to last year’s Crawford County Fair set Mullen’s heart on competing in 2018.
All four girls will be competing in other events this week, along with a fifth friend, Olivia Gray, who has not had a chance to compete yet. Of note, several of them have discussed participating in a fun show Saturday, which will have horses perform a variety of bizarre obstacles.
Three Centerville sisters crowned themselves queen of the dairy goats Wednesday, after collectively taking many major positions in the 4-H dairy goat showmanship judging.
Abigail, Rebekah and Lydia Harger took home five major titles across the three of them. Lydia nabbed first place in the intermediate showman division, with Abigail following in second and also claiming the master fitter position. Lydia, the youngest of the three, took first in the junior showman division.
However, the winning didn’t top there for the Harger’s, as Lydia also claimed first in master showman, which pits the winners of the three dairy goat divisions against each other in a proverbial battle royal.
The 4-H showman judging differed from most competitions at the fair, as they accounted for animal temperament in addition to their appearance. Furthermore, the handlers may be asked trivia questions about goats, which is also taken under consideration for the awards.
The Harger’s said that contestants could be asked to name the eight species of goats, or the nearly 50 parts of the animals, as possible trivia questions.
The Crawford County Fair is the only competitions the family participates in, dedicating the rest of the year to raising their goats. As such, winning big means something extra special to them.
“It feels great,” Abigail Harger said. “For (winning) master fitter, that all your hard work paid off.”
The girls’ mom, Sharna Harger, said that the trio spent six hours before the competition trimming their goats’ hairs, clipping their hooves and performing other grooming acts for the competition. Abigail and Lydia had it extra hard, as their goats both had black fur, which makes blemishes more noticeable, according to Sharna Harger.
Dairy goat raising has been in the family for 25 years, starting with Sharna and continuing with her daughters.
While Titusville wasn’t able to acquire as many first place positions as Tuesday, there were still plenty of accomplishments to go around for local youth in dairy cow competitions.
Andrew Wheeling pulled off what he called one of his proudest accomplishments, managing to come in fourth place in the holsteins winter intermediate calf division out of a field of 14 contestants.
“I felt good about it,” Wheeling said. “I was pretty happy about it, because the last time I was in a big crowd, I didn’t do too well, and this was a big step up for me.”
To accomplish this feat, however, Wheeling called on an expert. The cow he entered into the contest, named Belle, apparently has a history of standing out in big crowds. Wheeling said that at a previous cattle judging show, Belle came in second place out of a group of 30 contestants.
Wheeling also took second place in the holsteins fall yearling division, while his sister, Kierstan Wheeling, got fifth place in the summer yearling. Kierstan Wheeling was not present at the fair today, and her holstein was shown on her behalf.
Meanwhile, Abagail Bryan snagged second in guernsey fall senior calf and first in Guernsey Junior Best Owned and Bred, while her brother, Andrew Bryan, got fourth place in guernsey spring junior calf.
Ray can be reached, by email, at firstname.lastname@example.org.