Monday, September 06, 1999

Pride of owner shows in horse

Fair entrants are groomed, kissed, cosseted

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        ALEXANDRIA — Six-year-old Page Ertel smothered Bright Flash with kisses Sunday at the Alexandria Fair and Horse Show.

        In her first year of competition, the girl from Milford and her horse had just won a blue ribbon in the Paint Halter Class.

        Bright Flash “will do any thing for his kisses,” said Micha Ertel, Page's mother.

        Hundreds competed in the third day of horse shows at the Campbell County fair, which ends today.

        Elwood Griesinger, 73, of Grants Lick has been competing at horse shows since 1941 and brought eight hackney and saddlebred horses to compete at the fair.

        On Sunday morning, Mr. Griesinger, his son and several relatives and friends were on hand to groom Mark of Achievement, a 7-year-old American saddlebred. As he braided purple and white ribbon through the horse's mane, Mr. Griesinger stressed that preparations can involve a lot of pampering.

        Sarah Boden, 9, of California, has been competing for three years and still is learning the routine.

        Taking care of her quarter horse, Cliff's Gambler, is a nonstop responsibility that includes the not-so-fun chore of cleaning out stalls. However, the hardest task is waking up early to feed the horse.

        “It's a lot of work (and) a lot of fun,” she said, wearing black jeans and a black cowboy hat as she waited to enter the show ring. Her father, Rick Boden, a former 4-H horse man, had just adjusted her hat for her.

        Competing “teaches them that there's certain responsibilities,” said Sarah's mother, Peggy. “It's not something where you can just wake up and say, "I'll show today.'”

        This year, the annual fair attracted about 1,100 equestrians from throughout the Tristate and as far as South Carolina and Michigan.

        The fair's last horse show will be at 7 p.m. today at the county fairgrounds on Ky. 10. Admission is $6, which covers the show, other grandstand events and rides.


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