By Brianna Boyd
Special to Dixon Patch
Solano County equestrians galloped to victory this past weekend during the Dixon May Fair’s annual Junior Horse Show.
Around 60 girls and three boys, all from throughout Solano County, participated in the two-day event at the fairgrounds. They began arriving at 7:30 a.m. both days, and contests were ongoing until 5 p.m. By the end of the weekend, riders and their horses proudly carried multiple ribbons.
Based on their age and skill level, the children and teens, who all ranged in age from 9 to 18, were divided into three divisions – walk trot for novice riders, as well as junior and senior. Each division had its own activities in English, Western and Gymkana. The boys competed in the cowboy category, and all equestrians with smaller horses made up the pony group.
For many, the horse show was the culmination of months of practice with their horses. The youth and their animals were all doing their best to shine.
“We haven’t actually placed yet, but I’m really proud of him,” said 13-year-old Karin Aksnes of Fairfield, whose standard bred horse, “Ranger”, was competing in his very first show. “He’s doing everything I expected him to do, and even more.”
Aksnes said she has been working with “Ranger”, who she nicknamed “Moose” because of his large head, every day. They practice riding a lot, she said, which has helped “Ranger” to drop some excess weight before the show. The teenager said she hopes to ride “Ranger” in shows in the future.
“This is my fifth time at the May Fair,” she said, adding that she enjoys the show’s small environment and friendly atmosphere. “Everyone is very close to each other. There is a lot of competition, but that is what makes us better.”
Danielle Kranz, 15, also from Fairfield, rode her solid paint horse, “Fancy” in the weekend show. The weekend marked Kranz’s fifth time at the May Fair horse show and “Fancy’s” second show ever. Even though “Fancy” is a relative newcomer, her proud owner said the horse was doing great.
“It takes lots of time and practice, every day or every other day depending on how much I can get out there,” she said.
The big focus, Kranz said, has been on teaching “Fancy” to walk slowly. The horse loves to run, and Kranz was excited for the duo’s Sunday event, Gymkana, a competition that includes barrel racing, pole bending and a flag race.
“Today is her day,” Kranz said with a laugh. “We don’t do it too much, but she likes it and I do too. We love to go fast.”
Bright and early Sunday morning, the May Fair’s nine Royalty Court contestants began to enter the arena for the Royalty Court Horsemastership Class. The eight girls and one boy each rode individually before the judges and the crowd.
They were judged on their posture, their ability to lead their horse, and the control they had of their horse. After completing a required pattern, the contestants and their horses ran past the crowd, and received points based on crowd participation and their salute.
Kylie Goetz, 12, of Dixon was competing in her second May Fair horse show and her first as a Royalty Court candidate. She and her horse, “Jazzy” had a very successful weekend.
“We got about seven ribbons and we’ve placed in the top eight in every event,” she said. “We’ve been practicing for almost two weeks now with a horse trainer, working on our Royalty Court pattern, putting her nose down, and working on a slow, non-posting trot.”
For the Horsemastership Class, “Jazzy” and Goetz performed for the judges with the song “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning”, by Scotty McCreary, playing on the loud speaker. Her motto is “Never Forget 9-11”, and she wrote 9-11 on "Jazzy’s" back for the performance.
Many of the candidates groomed their horses and gave them special ribbons or decorations to wear. Keirsten Lockhart, 16, of Vacaville, braided blue ribbon in her horse “Toby’s” mane. "Toby" also had a blue saddlebag and blanket, and the color was identical to Lockhart’s outfit.
The duo also had a successful weekend at the show. They placed in all their classes Saturday, including second in bareback.
“She did all of the trail and got through the whole course,” Lockhart added. “It could be difficult to do sometimes because she’s not too fond of trail. We’ve worked on that for a really long time.”
Lockhart has been competing in the May Fair’s Junior Horse Show for six years, and this is her first year as a Royalty Court candidate.
“It’s definitely not easy,” she said. “It’s fun, but it is a lot of work. It’s definitely worth it. As soon as this May Fair is over, we’ll be practicing for next year.”
The 2012 Dixon May Fair Junior Horse Show awards included:
High Point English and Reserve High Point:
- Res. High Point English Walk/Trot: Emily Turner
- High Point English Walk/Trot: Grace Carter
- Res. High Point English Junior: Macy Nielson
- High Point English Junior: Corrinne Reece
- Res. High Point English Senior: Allie Huddock
- High Point English Senior: Katie Berg
High Point Western and Reserve High Point:
- Res. High Point Western Walk/Trot: Taylor Truitt
- High Point Walk/Trot: Emily Turner
- Res. High Point Western Junior: Olivia Nesbitt
- High Point Western Junior: K-La Duncan
- Res. High Point Western Senior: Madison Lowrie
- High Point Western Senior: Allie Huddock
High Point Gymkana
- Res. High Point Walk/Trot: Christopher Lee
- High Point Walk/Trot: Kylie Goetz
- Res. High Point Gymkana Junior: Annie Jarrett
- High Point Gymkana Junior: Corrinne Reece
- Res. High Point Gymkana Senior: Haley Yost
- High Point Gymkana Senior: Sabrina Brown
The Supreme Belt Buckle goes to the second highest overall scoring rider. This year, Tayor Truitt took home the award.
Corrinne Reece received the Silver Spur Award, which is given annually to the highest scoring rider.
Editor's Note: Brianna is the editor of the