Taylor Maughan, 12, and Cody won the Grand Champions Costume competition at the Clallam County Fair last weekend. Taylor’s costume, which includes her horse wearing moveable wings, was based on the “Game of Thrones” character Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons. (Theresa Powell)

Taylor Maughan, 12, and Cody won the Grand Champions Costume competition at the Clallam County Fair last weekend. Taylor’s costume, which includes her horse wearing moveable wings, was based on the “Game of Thrones” character Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons. (Theresa Powell)

HORSEPLAY: 4-H clubs teach the love and work of owning a horse

A FLYING HORSE at the Clallam County Fair?

If there’d been a stronger wind last Saturday afternoon you might have seen one due to a horse named Cody costumed as a dragon with wings.

His rider was dressed as Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons from the “Game of Thrones” TV show. Wearing a blond wig, a blue dress and cape fashioned after medieval times, Taylor Maughan, 12, and her horse arrived in fashion to the fair.

The wind did cause the wings to flutter up and down startling the horses around them until a string was attached to keep the wings from dancing.

Cody remained unflappable.

Strutted his stuff

Although, because even horses love to be admired, I think he liked strutting his stuff with Taylor, especially when he heard the claps and hollers of approval when they were announced grand champions of the costume competition.

“It’s amazing what these horses will do for their kids when asked,” said Nancy Johnson, 4-H horse show announcer and Cody’s owner.

Showing an animal at the four-day fair is frequently a family affair, as was certainly evident for Taylor and her family: parents Autumn and Eric Maughan and her younger sister Paige, who all live in Puyallup.

It was through her grandmother, Sequim resident and horse owner Kathy Emery, that Taylor became a member of the Pony Express 4-H club two years ago.

Eric Maughan designed the costume.

Taylor’s mom credits her dad with being a “wonderful designer and costume maker.”

“He made the wings so they could fold up to fit in our car to transport and then open up like a fan,” Autumn Maughan said.

“My horse is too old to be able to compete, so I’m thankful to Nancy Johnson for her use of Cody,” said Emery, who retired after working 30 years for the city of Port Angeles.

“Cody is a dream horse for a little girl. He’s actually teaching her a lot.”

Emery said she thinks 4-H is a good learning experience for everybody, and really likes the group her granddaughter belongs to.

‘So supportive’

“Everyone is so supportive and the kids all get along well,” Emery said. “4-H teaches kids a lot of neat things and makes showing horses affordable. Shows from other organizations are so expensive we can’t afford to participate. We can do the 4-H shows because it’s affordable.”

Emery said she appreciates the county fair’s overall atmosphere.

“Particpating in the fair is nice because it’s still like the old time country fairs. Everyone feels safe, and the camping here is wonderful.”

Belonging to a 4-H horse club can help build character, confidence and good sportsmanship.

Members learn first-hand the work and joy involved in caring for their horse — feeding, grooming, hoof care and picking up manure — along with record keeping and the rewards of doing well at shows (blue, red and white ribbons are awarded according to how well a task is performed).

There were about 65 horses, ponies and mini horses representing the four Clallam County clubs — Giddy Up and Grow, Neon Riders, Pony Express and Silver Spurs — at this year’s fair.

Competitions were based around performance horse, western games, dressage, jumping, reining and driving.

For more information about horse 4-H in Clallam County, call 360-417-2398 or email [email protected] clallam.wa.us.

Jefferson County’s 4-H horse clubs are Clover Cut Riders, County Mountys, Down & Dirty Equestrians and Silver Spurs.

For more information about horse 4-H in Jefferson County, call Tanya Barnett at 360-379-5610 ext. 208 or email [email protected]

Rodeo

My niece Brooke Stromberg and her horse Sunny were among the locals competing in barrel racing during the fair’s Sunday Pro West Rodeo.

While they ran a fast first and second barrel, Sunny saw something she was unsure of beyond the third barrel and started slowing down which startled my niece and they knocked the third barrel down.

It was a bummer but disappointments are part of racing.

I want to offer congratulations to Emily Van Ausdle and Moxie for their fast time of 18.43 seconds and bringing home a check at their first rodeo competition.

She was followed closely by Amelia Hermann with a time of 18.95.

Events

• Back Country Horsemen Peninsula Chapter’s Layton Hill Horse Camp campout, potluck, ride and general meeting — Sept. 7-9 with a 10 a.m. Saturday ride out.

Contact Linda Morin at 360-775-5060 or laytonhill horsecamp.com for more information.

• Back Country Horsemen Mount Olympus Chapter’s Littleton Horse Camp, potluck and Mount Mueller trail ride — Sept. 21-23 with a 10 a.m. Saturday rideout.

Contact Meghan Adamire at 360-460-0882 or [email protected] for more information.

________

Karen Griffiths’ column, Peninsula Horseplay, appears the second and fourth Sunday of each month.

If you have a horse event, clinic or seminar you would like listed, please email Griffiths at [email protected] at least two weeks in advance. You can also call her at 360-460-6299.

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