Fair takes off in full speed


Don Ogle / Sun-Telegraph Editor

K.L. Spratt whips around the barrel.

Cheyenne County Fair and Rodeo had its first 4-H events over the weekend at Cheyenne County Fairgrounds.

Activities officially opened fair week this week with the 4-H Fashion Show on Thursday. Friday, swine carcass pigs were loaded up early and transported to Ovid, Colorado, where owners were able to watch measuring and judging of carcasses at Ovid Meats.

Live animal contests began Saturday with the 4-H and Open Class Small Animal Show and the Dog Show. While not part of fair week, 4-H Shooting Sports contestants competed last week.

And youths competed Sunday in the Open Horse Class Show.

"Everybody comes in and brings what they have at home, and they compete," Chel McMillen, Sidney Wranglers leader, said. "Most of them are 4-H kids are getting their practice for the next two days for the competition."

A variety of basic skills were demonstrated in the halter class and performance class exhibitions.

"They have to work with them, be able to get their leads, be able to control their horse, be able to have a walk, trot, lope," McMillen said.

Event judge Chris Cannon said there are many criteria for appraising the horses in show.

"For halter, they have to have good head, good neck, good body, good legs. Good sound gait," he said. "Right leads when they lope, trot they can fit. Reining pattern, if they do it right. Just execute their leads right and their spins right and their backs right, that's what we're looking for."

Youths have preparing all year long for the event, McMillen said.

"For them, today's kind of a down day," she said. "It's a practice day before they go into their 4-H shows. They like to come out, they like to compete. Everybody likes to win. It's a good practice day, but it's also a good day for them to show what they have done all year long."

Cannon said he enjoys seeing the culmination of a year's worth of effort.

"It's exciting to see what they've done," he said. "I look forward to working with them and helping them get better."

Gerald Frerichs, Fair Board president, said Sunday was a great start to the week's festivities.

"We're on track, and I hope it keeps going," Frerichs said. "A lot of little things popping up, but we're getting them done."

Among its features, 2017's fair and rodeo features "good entertainers."

"We've got fireworks back and we'll see how our monster trucks turn out this year," he said.

A highlight of every year's fair is watching local youths show their skills, Frerichs said.

"Our counts are up early for hogs and our horses, everything," he said. "We're getting more kids all the time."

Cheyenne County Fair and Rodeo continues this week, with Monster Trucks at 7:30 tonight, truck and tractor pull Thursday, and John King concert Friday. John Michael Montgomery performs Saturday, with fireworks to follow.


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