4-H Horse Show kicks off Manistee County Fair

The 22nd annual 4-H Horse Show battled the elements while kicking off the 2015 Manistee County Fair on Sunday at the Manistee County Fairgrounds. (Dylan Savela/News Advocate)

The 22nd annual 4-H Horse Show battled the elements while kicking off the 2015 Manistee County Fair on Sunday at the Manistee County Fairgrounds. (Dylan Savela/News Advocate)

ONEKAMA — “The Horse Show must go on” was the mantra Sunday as the 22nd annual 4-H event battled the elements while kicking off the 2015 Manistee County Fair.

Through mud, rain and a couple lightning delays, the show did go on at the Manistee County Fairgrounds as 12 participants made up five age divisions and competed in four classes, including a fun class.

“Today we obviously had to kind of spot it in and out of all the rain drops and a couple times almost called the show with thunder and lightning,” said McAnn Bradford, president of the Manistee County Horse Show Committee, “but we loaded the horses up in the trailer and rode out the storm.

“We decided the show must go on.”

Trophies and ribbons were awarded across the board Sunday throughout the show’s senior, junior, beginner, novice and cloverbud divisions in Showmanship, English and Western classes.

“Some of our kids, this is their only show of the year,” Bradford said. “Others have traveled between Ludington and Traverse City and this is kind of the end of the year for them, to ride their hometown course.”

For Sunday’s participants, the horse show was just the start of a busy week at the fair.

“All of the kids are going to take turns being in the (horse) barn this week, so we’ll have half the kids come in the beginning of the week and the other half at the end of the week,” Bradford said. “Most of our riders here show livestock too, so a lot of them will be back several times this week.”

Bradford said 12 is a low number as far as participation goes, but is hopeful that will grow in time, considering some recent inquiries.

“We’ve had a lot of interest this year as far as people asking about it and thinking about it,” Bradford said, “so we’re hoping to expand and have more people participate soon.”

And despite the drops, those who competed Sunday still enjoyed themselves.

“I was just talking to my daughter, and believe it or not this is the first time we can remember we’ve had this kind of weather where you really just have to ride it out,” Bradford said. “But she said it’s still fun. It’s all what you make of it.”

Sunday’s senior division (ages 15-19) was made up of Blaire Frederick, Alycia Peterson, Faith Corey and Elizabeth Domres; the junior division (12-14) was McKenzie Bradford and Ellie Magnan; the beginner division (9-11) was Taylor Merrill; the novice division (first-year) was Grace Serzinski and Ajah Fink; and the cloverbud division (5-8) was Anna Bradford, Abigail Isabell and David Serzinski.

Domres was crowned grand champion in English equitation and Western equitation and was named reserve champion in Showmanship. Peterson was grand champion in Showmanship and reserve champion in English equitation. McKenzie Bradford was named reserve champion in Western equitation.

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Posted by Dylan Savela

Dylan is the county reporter for the News Advocate, he also is in charge of the Small Town Life, religion and senior pages. He can be reached at (231) 398-3111 or dsavela@pioneergroup.com.

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