WAPAKONETA — The 166th edition of the Auglaize County Fair opened Sunday in Wapakoneta. This is the first year that Jack Hayzlett has been the sole fair manager.
So what’s new at this year’s fair?
“There’s a lot of new events. I think there’s a lot of things that people will see differently, [such as] ride bands being only $10 for all day versus last year’s $18. Kid’s 12 and under are free. We’ve got some activities on the midway, the Warrior Course, which was a big hit last year is now free all week. We’ve got a Junior Warrior Course. We’ve got what we’re calling a sports challenge course, and that’s where you do multiple sports for points and try to beat your buddy,” said Hayzlett.
Of course, the fair is all about the young people.
Sydney Steinke, 15, of rural Botkins, was busy Sunday preparing her goat, Hot Justice, for the breeding stock competition today. She has seven goats entered into various competitions. It’s also her seventh year for showing goats and fifth year showing breeding stock.
“I do show a lot. I go to registered breeding stock shows around the country. I’ve been to a lot of states. I’ve been to nationals in Nebraska. I’ve been to quite a few places. I try to go as much as I can with only being in high school,” said Steinke.
So what does raising goats teach her?
“Responsibility. Time management is a big thing. Obviously, you gain a lot of knowledge about the species and things like that, but like when you raise animals and you breed them and you learn a lot of things about animals in general, just how they act and what they do and when they have babies, responsibility is probably the biggest thing,” she said.
Chelsie Porter, 14, of Defiance, was involved in the Western Pleasure Open Horse Show Sunday, showing her 16-year-old horse, Shockalockadoda. She says she’s been riding horses since she was a baby.
“I just kind of love the training process and just watching them progress from when you first start training them to where they are now, it’s just really exciting to see how far they’ve come,” said Porter. “For Western Pleasure, you want to make sure you have a nice slow gait, slow walk, slow trot and the head should be low, kind of in a cat-like position. Just make sure the horse looks like a pleasure to ride; that’s kind of why they call it Western Pleasure, I guess. … We’ve been to this show before actually, and it’s a great show. We love the judges here, and the stewards, they’re pretty great.”
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.