4-H Dog Show starts off busy week for Routt County Fair | SteamboatToday.com
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4-H Dog Show starts off busy week for Routt County Fair

Virginia Spitzley pets her dog Flash on Monday during the obedience portion of the 4-H Dog Show at the Routt County Fair.
Scott Franz

Results

2010 4-H Dog Show results

■ Overall Showmanship

Grand Champion: Alex Hamilton

Reserve Champion: Meghan Jezo and Margaret Lichtenfels (tie)

■ Overall Obedience

Grand Champion: Misty Richmond

Reserve Champion: Karen Forbes

■ Overall Dog Grand Champion

Grand Champion: Misty Richmond

Reserve Champion: Karen Forbes

If you go

What: 96th annual Routt County Fair

When: Today through Sunday

Where: Routt County Fairgrounds in Hayden

Other: For an event schedule, visit http://www.routtcountyfair.org

Results

2010 4-H Dog Show results

■ Overall Showmanship

Grand Champion: Alex Hamilton



Reserve Champion: Meghan Jezo and Margaret Lichtenfels (tie)

■ Overall Obedience



Grand Champion: Misty Richmond

Reserve Champion: Karen Forbes

■ Overall Dog Grand Champion

Grand Champion: Misty Richmond

Reserve Champion: Karen Forbes

If you go

What: 96th annual Routt County Fair

When: Today through Sunday

Where: Routt County Fairgrounds in Hayden

Other: For an event schedule, visit http://www.routtcountyfair.org

— Horses neighed and pigs oinked at the Routt County Fairgrounds in Hayden on Monday, but a group of 18 dogs denied spectators even a single bark during the 4-H dog show.

Delicately holding the leash of her dog Roo, Margaret Lichtenfels said each passing second felt more like a minute as she watched judge Terena Thomas slowly approach her at the end of the line. Thomas was scribbling on a scorecard after she gazed at the eyes, paws, and teeth of the competing dogs.

“It’s hard work getting your dog to stand still, especially since I was the last to be judged,” Lichtenfels said. “But I thought Roo did great for his first time.”

Lichtenfels and other dog owners were in the hot seat during the novice showmanship portion of the competition. They were quizzed about the origins of their breeds, the location of their dog’s stifle, and other canine-specific information they learned as members of the 4-H program. After the first stage of the competition, Lichtenfels still was not 100 percent certain what breed of dog Roo actually is.

“He’s a rescue dog,” she said. “He’s from the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming, and we think he might be a Basenji rat terrier mix.”

But the certainty of Roo’s breed was the last thing on Lichtenfels’ mind as she prepared for the obedience portion of the competition. She was busy trying to remember all the details required to show a dog in competition.

“It takes a lot more work than it would seem to get your dog to learn the different commands,” she said.

Dog show superintendent Cathy Shryok said seeing the kids march their dogs through the fairgrounds — and not the other way around — was a grand finale six months in the making.

“When I first saw these kids with their dogs in the classroom, the dogs were crazy and had very little focus,” said Shyrok, who has been working with the children and their dogs since March. “Today, I see that focus.”

Thomas, the judge, has been evaluating dog shows such as the 4-H competition for more than 15 years. A former member of the 4-H program herself, she said the dog show can be especially difficult for first-time contestants.

“It’s very hard on them during their first show, and I feel for them when they make mistakes,” she said. “But the second year they come back and they have much better control, and on the third year the relationship between them and their dog is telepathic.”

Outside of the dog show, the fairgrounds were being prepared for the evening events. Country music blared from a Texas barbecue stand as children practiced riding their horses for the 4-H horse show Monday night. Day four of the Routt County Fair had just begun.


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