Longtime 4-H member takes her last rides as part of 2022 Routt County Fair

Camryn Dines and her horse Kaycee share a look on Monday, Aug. 15, 2022, as the pair prepares to compete in halter at the 2022 Routt County Fair in Hayden. Dines and Kaycee earned the overall halter and showmanship awards.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Heavy rains on Sunday, Aug. 14, into Monday, Aug. 15, resulted in a few changes to the fair’s plans, but it couldn’t dampen Camryn Dines’ spirit on what could be her final 4-H horse show at the Routt County Fair.

“Technically, I have another year,” Dines said after winning the overall in the halter on Monday, Aug. 15. “But my horses are going to Montana, so it’s kind of bittersweet because this is probably going to be my last time showing them.”

Dines, who graduated from Steamboat Springs High School last spring, has been coming to the Routt County Fair’s horse shows for the past 11 or 12 years.

This year, she was back and excited that the horse events, which began on Friday, Aug. 12, traditionally kick off fair week. She has shown her horse Kaycee for the past eight years.

“He’s a pretty good horse — there is not much more I can ask of him,” Dines said. “He just goes out there and does what he needs to do and helps me a lot.”

It was a good morning for Dines and Kaycee, who were crowned champions in halter, which is based on the horse, and in showmanship, which is based on the competitor’s presentation of the horse.

It was the fourth day for the Routt County Fair, which opened on Friday with the open horse versatility, the 4-H ranch horse versatility and open freestyle reining events. On Saturday, the competition continued with the open horse show, and Sunday featured the open horse show and open Gymkhana competitions.

Despite having to adjust locations because of Sunday night’s heavy rain that continued into Monday, the halter and showmanship competitions took place on Monday.

In the afternoon, the competitors got back into the outdoor arena, which had been tilled and dried out a bit. On Tuesday, the horse events are expected to come to a close with the 4-H English Show and Gymkhana events.

Morgan Kopischke, who competed in the senior class of the 4-H Western Horse Show, rides Suzie on Monday Aug. 15, 2022, during the horsemanship competition at the Routt County Fair in Hayden. Kopischke won the event and also took home titles in trail and reining.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

“So we have people like Camryn, who has been doing this for at least 11 years in 4-H, and then we have some that are just starting,” said Millie Delaney, the 4-H coordinator at Routt County Extension Office. “For the kids in the horse program, this is about the responsibility that 4-H can help teach, and just letting them get out, have fun, go to a show and hang with their friends. It’s something that’s just kind of fun and includes them in the fair.”

Dines said it has greatly improved her life.

“It’s really taught me to be become like a nice person, and really helped me find a lot of people who enjoy the same things I do,” Dines said. “These people have helped me get to where I am — people like Amber Elliot, who always pushes me to be better … there are definitely a lot of people behind it that don’t get the spotlight.”

Cecilia Gregory leads her horse during the showmanship event at the 2022 Routt County Fair in Hayden. Gregory took home the ribbon that goes to the reserve grand champion in halter and was second in showmanship.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Dines, who has been working at the Wolf Mountain Ranch since graduation, said she is not sure what her future holds, or if she will return to college. However, she was pretty certain this would be her last horse show in Hayden.

“I started off as a Clover Bud going around with my neighbors to the meetings and stuff,” Dines said. “It’s going to be weird not being here next year — I mean this is what August is all about for me.”

Kelsey Stewart, 10, waits for her turn to compete in the walk-trot Monday, Aug. 15, 2022, at the Routt County Fair in Hayden. Stewart earned second place finishes in the walk-tot and showmanship in the junior class.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today
Lila Boniface, a senior in the 4-H horse program, gives her horse a little love prior to the halter competition on Monday, Aug. 15, 2022, at the 2022 Routt County Fair’s 4-H Western Horse Show in Hayden. The fair began with events on Friday and will run through Sunday this week with a number of 4-H events, home arts, concerts and much more.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today
Nine-year-old Lilly Venzke shares a moment with Trigger prior to entering the arena for the halter competition in the junior class at the Routt County Fair’s 4-H Western Horse Show on Monday, Aug. 15, 2022, in Hayden.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today
Judge Lanae McDonald, left, and scribe Amber Elliott tally up the scores for the senior class horsemanship competition Monday, Aug. 15, 2022, at the Routt County Fair in Hayden.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

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