Youngsters learn new horse riding styles at the fair

By Michael Zogg, The Del Norte Triplicate, @DNTripSports

The Del Norte County Fair brought a little equestrian class to Crescent City on Sunday with six different horse riding classes focued on poise and showmanship from both the rider and the horse.

The classes culminated with awards as they announced the Hi-Point winners - an award based on the overall score the riders received in each of the classes.

"They had to score really high in order to get the hi-point," said Randy Hatfield, the Del Norte County Fair Manager. "It is quite and acomplishment."

Begining riders participated in five classes, including trail, Western pleasure, Western equitation, English pleasure and English equitation.

More experienced riders participated in all the same classes, with the addition of hunter hack - a variation of English pleasure riding.

"It is all about the rider, how they handle themselves and how they handle the horse," Hatfield said. "The horse has to be trained in order to do a lot of the things they are asked to do. It is a lot more than just getting on a horse and saying, 'Giddy-up-and-go.'"

While each of the classes focuses on something a little different, horses had to display agility and athleticism while doing jumps, maneuvering through gates and navigating other various obstacles throughout the day.

The Hi-Point winners this year were Annie Luerra, Taylor Barrington, Mallorie Leavitt, Alexis Hunte and Madison Douglas.

Hatfield said he was impressed with all 20 of the participants in the classes, especially because while many of them compete in different horse competitions, these classes were a new twist on riding for most of the kids.

"It was really cool to see because the majority of them also game their horses, which is completely opposite of what they are doing here," Hatfield said. "But the riders and the horses did a great job of making the adjustment."

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The Del Norte Triplicate
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Thursday December 8, 2016

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