Annie gets her ribbon at 4-H horse show |

Annie gets her ribbon at 4-H horse show

Bailey Singer gives Annie a kiss on the snout as the two exit the rodeo arena Monday morning at the Routt County Fairgrounds in Hayden. The pair teamed up to win grand champion in the halter class.

Annie got a great big kiss from Bailey Singer as she trotted out of the rodeo area at the Routt County Fair Grounds Monday morning after being named grand champion.

The 14-year-old mare beat out two geldings and another mare to win the top prize in the Halter Class — something Singer has been working on for the past several years.

“It’s just a lot of hard work,” Bailey said from just outside the arena. “But if you do the right thing with your horse you can get up there in the placings. You just have to show them right, I guess, so that the judges can see her good qualities, and you can try to cover up, at least a little bit, of the bad ones.”

Bailey and Annie were able to do that on Monday as the two earned the large ribbon that goes to the top overall winner in the Halter Class — where horses are judged on their physical appearance. Karyn Forbes was named the reserve grand champion in the Halter Class. Awards were also handed out in the showmanship classes, where young 4-H members were judged on how well they presented the horses to the judges. Forbes was named grand champion for the seniors with Cosette McLaughlin named reserve grand champion. Caroline McLaughlin was named grand champion for the intermediates with Morgan Kopischke earning reserve and Emma McHaffie was named grand champion in the junior class with Jenna Kleckler being named reserve.

In the afternoon the judging moved to classes where the young equestrians had to ride their horses for judges including horsemanship, reigning, western pleasure and trail course.

The horse events will come to a close today with the english riding and gymkhana classes.

“I’ve been raised on horses. I was on a horse before I could walk,” Bailey said. “I’ve been riding since I was little and bringing my horses to fair has always been a pretty big dream of mine.”

For Bailey the Fair is and extension of her love of horses.

“I really like their personality,” Bailey said. “Once you get a bond established the end result is phenomenal. You can’t beat the end result —  like today —  getting grand champion with her after all the work and dedication that you put in and you get that kind of end result. It is really a pretty tremendous feeling.”

Annie, who was the reserve grand champion for mares last year, topped that result Monday by being named grand champion in Halter Classes. The result was welcomed by Bailey who has been hoping for that finish since she first started showing. But it also comes with some pressure as the young 4-H member wonders how she will top that feat at next year’s fair.

“I don’t know how I’m gong to top this,” Bailey said. “I just have to keep working. Maybe next year I’ll get two horses in the final round.”

Either way Monday was a fast start for Bailey who was also slated to compete in the riding classes and to show goats later this week.

“I don’t know if this is my best fair ever, but it started off pretty dang good,” Bailey said. “Hopefully it will continue with the riding portions later today and I’m showing goats later this week.”

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