10/08/10 — Hot to trot

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Hot to trot

By Laura Collins
Published in News on October 8, 2010 1:46 PM

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Ann Wicke examines her miniature horse during the annual Open Pony and Mule show at the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair Thursday evening. The show featured an assortment of ponies, mules, donkeys and horses and handlers of all ages.

In a pink cowboy hat with pink sequins, 10-year-old Kelly Lewis showed her donkey, Burrita, during the Open Pony and Mule Show at the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair Thursday.

The competition was a first for Kelly and Burrita, who placed fifth in their division.

"She's a little wild tonight," she said of her donkey, "she's been in the animal tent all week. But I'm happy we placed fifth. She's only 1 and we've been walking her around with Burrito, the other donkey, and been working with her for the past eight months."

Overall, Kelly and her mom, Teresa Lewis, said it was a good experience.

"I think it was awesome for her first time ever," Mrs. Lewis said.

Kelly said she is already looking forward to next year.

"I want to do this again and see if I can get better," she said.

Lauren Hussey, 14, competed in the mare mini horse category with her horse, Rachel.

"I have a lot of fun showing her," she said. "This is the only show I show her in. She did OK, but she kept rubbing on me."

The Open Pony and Mule Show led into the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair Open Horse Show last night. The Horse Show began with the showmanship competition where horses and their handlers are judged on precision. The contestants and their horses begin at the first orange cone and trot to the second orange where they stop and turn in a circle before walking to the third orange cone. There, they stop while the judge circles the showman and his or her horse.

Amanda Wheaton, 14, won the ages 14-19 showmanship category with her horse Mandy.

"It feels good," she said. "She's my little championship pony."

The win was bittersweet for Amanda, though, who said she will only be showing Mandy one more time after the fair.

"I'm retiring Mandy to a younger kid," she said. "I've outgrown her. It's kind of sad, but I know I need to move up and move on."

Amanda's mother, Cindy Wheaton, also used to show horses. She said she is proud of what her daughter has accomplished.

"She's gotten out there, and she's been doing well," Mrs. Wheaton said.

Overall, 64 people participated in the Pony and Mule Show and the Horse Show. Eileen Coite, fair livestock superintendent, said the turnout might have been less than previous years, but it was "still a good turnout."

"Everything went very smooth. Everybody was shiny and clean, and I even saw some sparkles on the horses," she said.

She said the Horse Show is such a staple at the fair because of the fun and friendly environment.

"I think for some of these folks, they might not travel a lot and go to a lot of horse shows so they look forward to the fair," she said. "For the young people, it was some of their first times and it's a relaxed place where they can learn something and have fun."