OCTOBER 1998 BACK ISSUE
Part of Horse Previews Magazine website. Posted on 10/02/98; 2:00:00PM.
Spokane Interstate Fair 1998
We try to go to the Fair every year, mostly to stuff ourselves and check out the animals. German sausages at the Shriner's Booth were hot, tasty, and affordable; the chickens and bunny rabbits were a joy beyond compare. Always before, the wife and I have been strictly observers on a budget. This year we decided to splurge and enter a couple of horses in the Fair for exhibit and show.
The ratio of observers to exhibitors is gigantic, so we wanted to try for a change in perspective. Anyone who takes an animal to the Fair gains an appreciation for logistics and cooperation unknown to the observer in the crowd. The bigger the animal the more the preparation for the operation.
Sunday, September 13th, we took our stud and a weanling. We showed them Tuesday morning and brought them home that evening. Without exception, all encounters with Fair officials, fellow exhibitors, and the observing crowds were positive and favorable.
The gate keepers, traffic control, parking attendants, vet check, registrars, stall supervisors, judge, show clerks - all the Fair - officials were enthusiastic, polite, and helpful. Administration and setup was quick and easy. We parked our two-horse trailer pretty close to our stalls without incident or worry about security. The stalls were clean and safe; plenty of bedding material and water was available nearby. There was ample room in the aisle between stalls for our small card table with brochures, pictures, and information about our breed. The barn supervisor introduced himself as soon as we settled in. There were no hassles. When we went home in the evening we were certain that our horses and gear were safe and sound.
Our fellow exhibitors were friendly, talkative, and helpful. I heard no one complain about the facilities. General whining went on about the sweltering heat, but the attitude among the exhibitors was upbeat. The crowds through the barn past our stalls were crushing. As an observer I was used to moving along with the inquisitive mentality, but as a stationary exhibitor, the perspective was extraordinary. What surprised me the most was the good manners and cheerful appreciation the crowd showed to us and our horses. I saw no mean behavior.
Was it worth it to assume the exhibitor's role rather than the observer's for a change? Without reservation I would answer YES!
Especially important was the experience for our horses. We had never socialized the weanling before, so on Sunday his head was high and his eyes were wide, but by Tuesday afternoon he was much more confident and at ease with the new situation. Most gratifying to us was seeing the happy expressions on the hundreds upon hundreds of faces (especially youngsters') who enjoyed the experience with our horses. I hate to get gushy on you, but it was well worth it!
Bob Howdy, PhD