Aug 28, 2013

Hard work pays off with Third Place ribbon

GREENVILLE – “She placed third out of 12,” exclaimed an excited mom, Paula Walls. Her daughter, Brooke Buckingham, was “all smiles” and giving her grandpa a ride.

Brooke, 14, is a student at Greenville Junior High School. She and her registered miniature horse, Fizzie, were scheduled for two “Classes” in the Junior Fair Horse Show at the south end of the Darke County Fairgrounds on Aug. 20. Walls worked with her daughter and the horse to prepare them for each class. The first was “Ground Driving.” Brooke finished eighth of 11.

Ground driving involves walking behind the horse and directing him based upon instructions from the judge. The second was Regular Driving, which involved hitching the horse to a cart then directing him while sitting in the cart. She had never done this before. She placed third.

Brooke didn’t seem too excited about it before hand.

“He’s acting up,” Brooke told her mom. “What’s he doing?” “He rears up.” “Then snap him. He’ll stop.”

Walls said he will likely calm down, adding they hadn’t really hitched him up until about a month ago.

“I wanted to grow him a bit,” she added.

As Brooke was heading into the practice ring prior to the Ground Driving event, Walls said “The judge is going to call for a walk, then a trot. Then the judge will reverse the class to go the other way.

“She’s looking for how well the horse behaves with the driver, how well they move. She is also judging the kids on horsemanship.”

This was Brooke’s first event of the day, but her third event overall. In Showmanship she placed fifth out of 12 and in another trial – there were lots of obstacles – she also placed fifth. Eighth out of 11 in the third event was disheartening, especially since Fizzie had won the event the year before when he was only a year old.

“Fizzie was a Christmas present for Brooke,” Walls said. He was six months old when Brooke got him.

Preparing a horse for show takes a lot of work, according to Walls. Six hours or more every week is needed to care for the horse, plus an hour or two the night before an event. On show day at least two hours is needed to get the horse ready, as well as the equipment.

“He gets a bath and peppi spray to make the coat shine. We black his feet and put baby oil around his eyes and nose to make them look good…

“We all have our little show routines,” she said, grinning. Walls noted everything needs cleaning up; the harness, cart… everything.

Brooke’s sister, Justine, was also helping prepare Fizzie for his showtime events. When mom said these girls put a lot of work into this, Justine popped up, “Brooke did all the work; I’m not showing this year.”

Walls agreed that she was a proud mom, proud of both of her daughters.

“Justine would rather do registered breed horses,” mom said. “Brooke seems to work these shows well.”

When Fizzie was acting up prior to the final event, Walls gave her encouragement and advice, then noted “I’m not scratching you… not after getting everything harnessed up.”

“Sometimes Brooke seems like she’s ready to call it a day; she just needs a confidence booster.”

She placed Third in that event. Good confidence booster.

Brooke Buckingham takes advice from her mother, Paula Walls, as she prepares her miniature horse Fizzie for the final Class Show of the day.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Mr. Robinson for writing such a great article on my daughter, Brooke, and her Fizzy. It's nice to see kids recognized who put for the effort and time into a 4-H project, and turn it into a success. Yes, I am one proud Mom!
Paula Walls

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