Horse competition continues at fair |

Horse competition continues at fair

Christine Metz

— Heather Wertenberger woke at 6 a.m. Tuesday morning to wash her horse’s feet and tail before the start of the 4-H/FFA Horse Show at the Routt County Fair.

Despite efforts to keep dry from Tuesday’s rain, her horse, Jerry, needed another cleaning before entering the first competition.

“Lots of mud,” was how the show’s co-superintendent Michelle Townsend described the fairgrounds where the show was held.

Although the mud prompted extra washing and a half-hour delayed start, it did not stop

the show or the 11-year-old Wertenberger from taking second in the intermediate showmanship competition.

Wertenberger was one of 45 Routt County 4-H members who competed in the show. Separated into three age divisions, the horses were judged in more than 30 events ranging from horse breeding to riding to showmanship.

Today, members continue to compete with speed races in the Gymkhana competition.

The show is the cumulation of a year-long project for 4-H members ages 8 through 18.

Most began preparing their horses in January for Tuesday’s event.

In her fourth year of showing at Routt County, Wertenberger said she spends a few hours each day working with her horse on her family’s ranch outside of Hayden.

Medora Frolick, a horse leader in Hayden, said her members’ time goes well beyond the twice-a-week 4-H meetings.

“They work on their own for hundreds of hours, easy,” Frolick said, “actually thousands of hours year-round.”

The hours members spend can easily be seen in the showmanship competition, like the one in which Wertenberger competed. In showmanship, competitors are judged on how they present, care and groom their horses.

Because all 4-H members with horse projects must compete in the showmanship category, it is one of the toughest competitions in the show, said Jill Altman of the county extension office.

The senior showmanship winner, Kaycee Samuelson, has competed in the Routt County Horse Show for 11 years.

Sitting on top of her horse, Rag Time Devil, Samuelson said the showmanship competition is more than showing a horse. Judges also inspect the animals and ask questions.

Samuelson clinched first place by being one of the two competitors to know where a horse’s argot was, pointing to her horse’s ankle. It was once the horse’s extra toe, she said.

Horse anatomy is not the only thing Samuelson, who is also the Fair Queen, has learned through her horse project.

Despite her finish in the showmanship class, Samuelson said it is the speed events in the Gymkhana competition that she really enjoys.

Samuelson is just one of the many members who give the show a high level of competition, which Frolick said is comparable to other Colorado counties.

“I would put our kids against any county in the state,” Frolick said.

Routt County Fair

4-H/FFA Horse Show results


Senior: 1. Kaycee Samuelson, 2. Brienna Combs, 3. Janey Montieth

Intermediate: 1. Jamie Jones, 2. Heather Wertenberger, 3. Kalvert Shiner

Junior: 1. Kelsey Samuelson, 2. Taylor Weisshaar, 3. Braylin Wertenberger

Halter Horse

Champion: Kaylee Myers

Reserve Champion: Alex Centner


Champion: Alex Centner

Reserve Champion: Heather Wertenberger

Yearling: Tucker Louthan

2-4 Year Olds: 1. Justine Ager, 2. Matt Poulin, 3. Holli Salazar

5-10 Year Olds 1. Alex Centner, 2. Heather Wertenberger, 3. Kaylee Myers

10+ Year Olds: 1. Justin Wheeler, 2. Kelsey Samuelson, 3. Hallie Shiner


Champion: Kaylee Myers

Reserve Champion: Jana Denker

2-4 Year Olds: 1. Jana Denker , 2. Kaylee Myers, 3. Carl Remick

5-10 Year Olds: 1. Justine Ager, 2. Carl Remick, 3. Mandy Lewis

10+ Year Olds: 1. Kaylee Myers, 2.Stephanie Moore, 3. Genny McGeary

Breeding Horse

Champion: Genny McGeary

Reserve Champion: Chad Rolando

Mares Bred or Foaled in 2001: 1.Genny McGeary, 2. Ashley Mason, 3. Chad Rolando

Mares and 2001 Foal: 1. Genny McGeary, 2. Chad Rolando, 3. Ashley Mason

2001 Foal: 1. Chad Rolando, 2. Genny McGeary, 3. CJ Remick


Senior 1. Chrissy Wilhelm, 2. Danielle Stephenson, 3. Genny McGeary

Intermediate: 1: Kalvert Shiner, 2. Justin Wheeler, 3. Heather Wertenberger

Junior: 1. Krystina Wheeler, 2. Kylee Sweetser, 3. Bailey Carrell


Senior: 1. Genny McGeary, 2. Danielle Stephenson, 3. Amanda Sumerlin

Intermediate: 1. Justin Wheeler, 2. Heather Wertenberger, 3. Tack Louthan

Junior: 1.Krystina Wheeler, 2. Kelsey Samuelson, 3.Braylin Wertenberger

Western Riding:

Senior: 1. Danielle Stephenson, 2. Brienna Combs, 3. Amanda Sumerlin

Intermediate: 1. Justin Wheeler, 2. Kalvert Shiner, 3. Jamie Jones

Junior: 1. Kystina Wheeler, 2. Kelsey Samuelson, 3. Kylee Sweetser


Senior: 1. Katy Button, 2. Kaycee Samuelson, 3. Genny McGeary

Intermediate: 1.Rachel Van Baak, 2. Tack Louthan, 3. Kalvert Shiner

Junior: 1.Krystina Wheeler, 2. Kelsey Samuelson, 3.Braylin Wertenberger

Western Pleasure

Senior: 1.Janey Montieth, 2. Amanda Sumerlin, 3. Genny McGeary

Intermediate: 1. Justin Wheeler, 2. Kalvert Shiner, 3. Heather Wertenberger

English Pleasure: 1. Krystina Wheeler, 2. Katy Button, 3. Christina Appel

English Equitation: 1. Christina Appel, 2. Chrissy Wilhelm, 3. Lauren Berrien

Hunter Hack: 1. Chrissy Wilhelm, 2. Katy Button, 3. Lauren Berrien

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