The Versatility event that closes out serious competition at the Delaware County Fair Junior Fair Horse Show is not for the faint of heart.
Competitors typically enter the show ring under sunny skies at 5:30 p.m., and stay in the ring performing their final events under lights. It’s well after 9 p.m. when the results are tabulated and the winner is announced.
Contestants qualify for Versatility during three days of equestrian competitions, and once in the ring they perform Showmanship, Equitation, Pleasure, and Reining classes with tack and clothing changes between events. They finish the evening Barrel Racing.
Buckeye Valley High School senior Grace Smith, a member of Cowboy Convoy 4-H Club, won Versatility last year and did a repeat this year, with her fellow club member Samuel Smallets placing a close second. Jessica Haynes of Sunbury Halter & Saddle 4-H Club took home third place honors.
Fourth through 13th place finishes were earned respectively by Camryn Bishop-Simpson (JJ’s E-Z Riders 4-H Club), Jocelyn Cardi (Sunbury Halter & Saddle), Lauren Thiergartner (Sunbury Halter & Saddle), Megan Kirsop (JJ’s E-Z Riders), Aimee Dill (Successful Strides 4-H Club), Isabella Browning (Wild Riders 4-H Club), Ashley Kiger (JJ’s E-Z Riders), Alexis Poulton (Delaware Trailblazers 4-H Club), Kody Knapp (Sunbury Halter & Saddle), and Kora Derwent (Cinch ‘N Saddle 4-H Club).
Smith will be on the court this winter as a member of the Buckeye Valley Girls Basketball Team. Her birth date falls inside the eligibility line for next year’s 4-H season. Smith said she did not know if she would compete at the 2017 Delaware County Fair, but did admit that Versatility three-peat would be a nice way to close out a 4-H career.
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.