By Gary Wamsley
It has been quite a week at the Larimer County Fair. I was amazed at all there was to do for the entire two weeks. I stopped by for a short time to see the mule and donkey show and picked up information about the Rocky Mountain Long Ears Association, dedicated to preserving the longears heritage. These folks like their mules.
At the other end of the size spectrum, I found the Colorado House Rabbit Society off the beaten path between the carnival and the 4-H building. This group of bunny aficionados works at rabbit rescue and showing how rabbits can make good house pets. Their Web site, ColoradoHRS.com, features information on adoption, health and behavior of house rabbits.
Judging by the number of spectators, one of the most popular attractions at the fair was “Splash Dogs.” With a long platform and a big pool, the dogs jumped into the water to retrieve the object thrown by their owners. The object was to see how far the dogs could jump. Most of the real world dogs jumped straight off the dock and landed five to 10 feet away. Some dogs had obviously been trained for this event and jumped several feet into the air, splashing into the water near the 20-foot marker. The show was quite a crowd pleaser. (A photo of an eager black lab is on page 1).
From Friday on, the 4-H and open class exhibits were on display, and the 4-H kids were showing their animals and competing in the junior rodeo sponsored by the Larimer County Sheriff’s Posse. I saw as much of it as I could. I took many more photos than we could possibly put in the paper. I wish we could feature every one of those kids who have worked so diligently on their projects over the year.
Berthoud was well represented in all the classes, and as I pared the lists of results down to Berthoud people I was wishing I had the list sooner. With so many displays, I managed to miss a lot of the exhibits, and the list would have been a good guide. We obviously have some great cookie bakers in both the adult and youth category. In addition to kids doing very well in the show, I recognized the names of several parents who entered the open class.
One of the lessons I learned is that the showmanship competition that accompanies every animal class is as important, or even more important to many, than the judging of the animal. In this event the kids are judged on how well they work with the animal and follow certain protocols that apply to the proper showing of their animal. The judge also asks them questions relating to their type of animal and that answer enters into his decision. Pay attention to those who scored well in this category, they worked hard to earn their rating.
Congratulations to all the exhibiters. Whether they won a blue ribbon or not, they are all winners.
I’ll see you around town.