By Janet Kehres
The Northern Ohio Draft Pony Association and the Richland County Draft Horse Group will have their annual draft pony and draft horse hitch show on July 1-2 at the Richland County Fairgrounds in the Draft Horse Show Ring on the North end of the fairgrounds.
Show Chairman Levi Myers and Karen Harvey are in charge of the show this year. “If you like draft horses, you will love this show,” Myers said.
This fall, Myers will be the new Vocational Agriculture teacher at Northwestern High School. He said he has been active since he was 17 years old.
Harvey has been a 4-H leader for 21 years and was active in 4-H as a child. She said her son, Craig, is the Superintendent of the Horse Group and he too, has always been active in 4-H and horse shows.
She added they have numerous volunteers helping with the show from announcers, ring masters, photographers and entry booth. There will be a couple of concession trailers at the show to offer refreshments throughout the day. The show will start at 9:00 am each morning with a youth showman hi-point series. Participating in shows like this particular show, she said, gives the youth educational experiences to prepare them for the county fairs later in the summer. The judges do a lot of explanations to encourage the youth to do their best in showmanship. They give advice about why they placed where they placed and how they can improve. This series allows youth competitors to earn points over the course of the show. The points will be used towards cash prizes for the top five point recipients. There will be a small break in action between the youth classes and the competition classes each day. The regular show program will begin at 12 noon each day and it is estimated to run until 5-6 pm each night, she said.
Some of the events planned are: Draft Horse Youth Decorating; Combined Draft Pony Sr. Youth Decorating; Combined Draft Pony Jr. Youth Decorating; Combined Draft Pony Sr. Youth Team; Draft Horse Youth Team; Combined Draft Pony Jr. Youth Team; Combined Pony Six; Draft Horse Ladies' Cart-Show Harness; Farm Pony Cart; Registered Haflinger Four; Grade Draft Pony Four; Draft Horse Team-Show Harness; Combined Pony Championship Team, Draft Horse Unicorn; Combined Pony Jack Benny Team; Draft Horse Four; Registered Haflinger Men's Cart; Grade Draft Pony Men's Cart; Draft Horse Six; and Combined Pony Ladies' Cart.
There will be numerous Haflinger and Draft Pony Combined 6 payouts and Haflinger and Draft Pony Combined Ladies' Cart payouts.
The show is about the children that participate. The performance is about adults helping children. Youth groups start at 8-9 years old through 18 year old. Visitors are expected from Ohio and many neighborhood states. Approximately 75 horses and 140 draft ponies attended last years show. This show is a sanctioned show and it is considered one of the biggest shows this group of horses will attend.
The grand finale is a dinner on Saturday evening where the participants receive trophies, recognition and money prizes.
Every year at the show, she added, the club hosts a Combined Draft Pony and Haflinger Ladies' Cart. This class is one of three HHPCS sanctioned classes at the show. The drivers earn points towards a Hi-Point series finale at the end of the show season. This year, in honor of Kim Myers, the club is renaming the class to 'Kicken' Cancer Cart Class.' with the rename, funds will be donated from this class. There will also be a running crowd fundraiser that will also be donated to the family. The goat is $700 or more to go to the family. Entry fees, crowd donations, exhibitor fees, and other donations will be the largest portions of the donation. The money will be presented to the family after the show on behalf of both clubs and the exhibitors.
Kim has always been a large part of many horseman activities, she said, and has been known for always lending a helping hand no matter where it is needed. Kim has Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare childhood cancer that attacks soft tissues. She is the daughter of Leonard and Lynn Myers. Their family shows Registered Haflingers at several county fairs throughout the state of Ohio. They also breed and raise Belgian draft horses that they exhibit as well. Kim is currently receiving treatments at Cincinnati Children's Hospital and has stents of both inpatient and outpatient treatments. The NODPA's effort to help the family will hopefully help offset the costs of the numerous treatments for Kim, she said.
The colors for childhood cancer is gold, they said and visitors are asked to wear gold if they would, or purple and green which is Kim's favorite colors in support of Kim.