FREDERICKTOWN — Those who live on large western ranches really have nothing up on those who live here in Knox County. The opportunity to develop and sharpen horse skills, mastering the art of showmanship, creating a close bond with your equine friends and the chance to play and compete with human friends is found each week throughout the summer at the Fredericktown Saddle Club grounds on Salem Street. Numerous youth as well as adults turn out each week for the Fun Show to compete in various competitions which help riders prepare for more serious competition.
The local shows first started with two shows each year. But a growing interest helped the idea expand until the club decided to conduct them on a weekly basis throughout the summer. “Everybody donates their time,” said club president Mary Clawson about the Fun Shows. “It’s basically a family thing, but it’s also kind of a 4-H thing where the kids that are starting out in 4-H and are unsure if they want to do this or not, this gives them a good taste of what they’re getting into.”
“It is competitive,” Clawson told the News. “But it’s a fun time where friends come out to just have a good time each week.”
Fun Shows take place every Wednesday, rain or shine, May 30 through Aug. 15. No shows take place July 4 for Independence Day or July 25 due to the Knox County Fair. “This is for anyone,” said Clawson, stressing that the Fredericktown Saddle Club is the sponsoring organization. “We have people come here from all over ... they come from as far away as Mount Gilead and Mansfield.”
Different judges are contacted to judge the competitors each week. Presiding over the Show on Wednesday was Jennifer Moshier along with her apprentice, Kristin Quarter. Moshier has been a judge in the Quarterhorse Congress and the 4-H Equine Affair. Competitors are divided into age groups, and trophies and ribbons are awarded to the top five places in each class.
“A lot of talent” is what people can expect to see when they attend a Fun Show, according to Clawson. “There are just a lot of people here enjoying themselves. It’s a fun-filled night.”
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