“It’s impossible to take the boy out of an old cowboy.”
Youth competitors make up most participation in majority of county fairs. Yet, local events usually have open classes, drawing some competition from adults.
The horse show at our fair was a major deal, at least to us, when growing up. A town kid, we weren’t in 4-H during grade school, but begged to show horses.
Dad finally gave in so we could take Spot, her yearling Missy Creek, and that year’s baby, Buchman’s Queen, to the fair.
Floor boards from the dump were six-penny-nailed together as stock racks on a two-wheeled trailer pulled behind the grocery store delivery car.
Don’t remember why we didn’t ride Spot and lead her offspring, but we packed them into the tiny trailer and got to the fair.
Entered in four classes, our horses got dead last every time out.
Disappointed and embarrassed, we never quit trying.
The next year, we joined 4-H, and again showed horses at the fair. Placings didn’t improve, but they gave us a token-ribbon and a quarter per entry.
Our horses never won any county fair 4-H blue ribbons. Despite discouragement, we kept complete records, being named County 4-H Horse Champion at the Achievement Banquet.
Finally, a couple of years later, Nellie Belle had Ramblin’ Cowboy’s Belle, by Kenny Muller’s Rambaleo. Judge Charlie White, on crutches from getting bucked off, selected “RCB” to win the open division weanling colt class.
It was the first time our horses ever won anything, even beating the “big-timers,” who’d always smirked at our entries.
Very seldom in five decades have we not exhibited horses at the county fair. It’s a really big deal to us, although many don’t understand, with ridicule sometimes whispered.
For a number of years, we prided in showing home-raised foals, often a half dozen babies. Sometimes, they’d win, and occasionally even collect championships.
Getting a blue ribbon always pleases us. Yet, losing is part of showing horses, too.
Entered in a dozen classes at last week’s county fair open show, our horses won some and lost more. We’re still trying.
Reminds us of First Corinthians 9:26: “I work for the goal with determined effort.” Thus, Second John 1:8: “Take care that you not lose, persevere until you win and receive perfect reward in full.”