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Fair continues with horse show tonight

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Entries up, Dutch Harness will show for 1st time

By Lisa King

Shelby County

Fair Horse Show

WHEN:7 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday

WHERE: Shelby County Fairgrounds

TICKETS:Gate admission, $5, box seats, $75 for 6 seats

MORE INFO:502-647-0076

With room for more horses this year because of the availability of the livestock barn at the fairgrounds, horse show officials say they are really excited about having a bigger show this year.

Horse Show Manager R.H. Bennett said Monday that that he wasn’t sure of how many entries there are this year, but by Monday’s pre-entry deadline more than 300 had registered.

“The fair is not going on [during the horse show] this year, so we’ll have a feel for how many do come,” he said.

The restructuring of the Shelby County Fair schedule, putting the horse show at the end of the event, freed up as many as 50 additional stalls for horses, Bennett said.

A few of those entries will be for a new breed – the Dutch Harness horse – a mixture of Hackney and Netherland breeds, but most will be back from years past, bringing some old favorites.

Returning champions as well as new blood, will draw a good crowd with many thrilling moments from today through Saturday.

With roughly 80 classes spread out over four nights, spectators will be treated to a lot of equine competition by young and experienced riders alike.

The show will offer a lot of diversity, with riders in formal English riding attire to western wear, with five gaited competitions every night, with classes for junior exhibitors and ladies.

Horse show secretary Beth Snider said she expects the number of entrants to continue to climb, as entries are excepted up to the competition.

Bennett said that everything has been proceeding smoothly leading up to the show.

“It’s going good; we’ve got some people from that Kalarama Farm over in Springfield that’s come over today [Monday] and have set up their tack room and have brought a couple of horses to work, and they’ll go home and come back on Wednesday,” he said.

Bennett said they are regular participants at the show every year and are of the biggest farms in the industry.

“They have all different kinds, five-gaited, fine harness, three gaited; they have horses in training for the Wrigley family, the chewing gum people,” he said.

Bennett said having the Shelby County Fair show just in time to coincide with the Kentucky State Fair at the beginning of July is a plus. To qualify to show at the state level, you must first participate in a county fair and Shelby’s show offers that opportunity.

Bennett said that best of all, the quality of horses and riders at the show has earned a reputation for being among the best in the country.

That just shows the kind of dedication that people in Shelby County have for the competition and their love for their horses, he said.

“Of other county fairs, ours is probably the most competitive county fair,” he said. “We get more stables to come than any other fair that I’m aware of in the state. And not only do we get more numbers, but it’s probably some of the best competition, and it’s grown every year. It’s gotten a little better every year since we got off of the [weekend of the] Lexington Junior League horse show.”

Bennett said he didn’t know how long there has been a horse show at the fair, which is in its 152nd year.

“They always refer it as the Shelby County Fair and Horse Show,” he said. “I know back in the thirties and forties, they had saddlebred shows. Some of the great horses and horsemen of the industry have shown here.”