Highlights from the 2015 Great Geauga County Fair
Twenty-Eight Years of Horses at the Fair By Mandy Boggs grabs, but it is also the oldest cattle event held at any fair in the state of Ohio. Teams of two had to enter a pen of numbered cattle and take turns sorting through and herding specific cows by number, through a small opening in the pen. This opening, referred to as “the gate,” would be guarded by one of the team members. Each team had to take turns switching from guarding the gate to sorting the cows, all while trying to beat the clock. The cows set the bar high and a few young cows proved to be sneaky and quick at sneaking past the person in the gate. The crowd watched each team while either holding their breath or cheering them on as they tried to take home the championship. Rich’s daughter, Pam Bradshaw, has been competing in this event for 28 years. This year she made her father proud when she won the Open Three-Man Sorting, with her two children, (l - r) Cody Whitticar and Casey May sorted cows during the 2015 Ranch Jessie and Cody. Brother-sister team Kristine Sorting Championship at The Great Geauga County Fair. May (15) and Casey May (17), were among many others competing for cash. Kristine and Casey recently The sticky air clung to your skin while the sun started obtained the titles of AQHYA Youth World Champions in to set over the grandstands. The smell of fair food and Team Penning, at the 2015 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World sounds of screeching rides set the tone for an event that Championship Show in August. They have competed all over keeps bringing crowds back, year after year. Rich Bradshaw the U.S. and in at least three other countries. Kristine kicked has been putting on events at the Geauga County Fair for off this year’s Ranch Sorting Championships event, leading 28 years, and this year was just as entertaining. Families the contenders with the American Flag in the opening drew around the fencing that surrounded the horse arenas, ceremony. They ended up finishing the night at the top of the hoping to get the best view of this year’s Ranch Sorting Open Sorting. Casey and his Dad, John May, finished in first Championships and Horse and Rider Obstacle Challenge. place, with Kristine and Jeff McNish taking second place. Jeff Friday night was the 2015 Ranch Sorting Championship McNish, a longtime friend of Rich, has been attending these event. This event not only has the largest prize money up for
Steffanie Portman watching Bella Corcoran hoola-hoop atop her horse during the Horse and Rider Obstacle Challenge at The Great Geauga County Fair.
events for all 28 years. These top contenders weren’t the only stars of the show this year. Peyton Baar, age 6, had the crowd going wild for her as she rode her small pony, who was eye to eye with the cattle she had to sort. Peyton showed no fear making her way through the herd. This was her first time competing at the Geauga County Fair. She started sorting cattle two weeks prior, with the help of Rich Bradshaw showing her the ropes. Peyton is one to watch for in the future. T h e H o r s e Rich Bradshaw rode his horse, and Rider Obstacle Walter, at the 2015 Horse and Rider Challenge, which was Obstacle Challenge at The Great held Sunday night, Geauga County Fair. was one of the most exciting events Rich puts on. This year, there were new Continued on Page 2
Jeff McNish competed in the Horse and Rider Obstacle Challenge at The Great Geauga County Fair.
the great geauga county fair ~ 2015
(top) (l-r) Peyton Baar, Tom Reeder, and Judy Smego at the 2015 Ranch Sorting competition. (left) Peyton Baar sorting cows for the first time at The Great Geauga County Fair!
Twenty-Eight Years of Horses at the Fair Continued from Page 1
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obstacles that had many asking themselves, “Where did they come up with that?” Rich created a course that certainly challenged the partnership these rider’s had with their horses. Not only did the horses have to trust their riders, but the riders had to ask their horses to maneuver through some obstacles with fearless precision. The start of the competition consisted of the riders entering the ring in two groups. The judges looked for ride-ability and if the horse was responsive to the rider’s aids and if their training was consistent with a horse working on a ranch. Patrick Cooper, a longtime friend of Rich and well known in the community for starting young horses and riding horses with behavior issues, was riding his own horse, Eli. Normally seen at rodeos and bull riding events, Eli demonstrated he is a well-rounded horse and up for a new kind of challenge. Patrick made sure to get the crowd on their toes when his horse decided to show off Patrick’s riding skills by being a little too enthusiastic during their gallop. Like the cowboy he is, he stuck with it and continued on, joking he was just selling more tickets. Patrick has been competing in this Obstacle Event since it started, taking home the championship once before. He also competed Friday night in the Ranch Sorting Championships on two different horses. The course began with riders having to choose between two “wildcard” horses tied in the ring. One of the horses was worth extra points and one was not. Only the judge knew which horse came with the bonus points. The competitors had to ride the horses with no saddle before making a run back to their own steed to continue onto the obstacles. A large inflatable ball was locked into a steel pen. Riders had to ride up and open a gate, go in and have their horses move the ball with their feet through the gate and across the arena. Next, they showed off their jumping skills by clearing three fences made of barrels. Some horses showed natural skills and others had the crowd laughing at their efforts. The course continued with a wooden bridge that balanced on a large beam. The horses had to walk onto the bridge while it teeter-tottered, maintain
their composure and lower themselves down on the other side. Following this were some narrow planks and boxes they had to walk across before coming to “The Spider Web.” This obstacle looked just as scary as it sounds. Numerous large buckets hung from a tall beam with pool noodles jetting out in every direction. Some horses tried to jump through as quickly as someone would who had walked into a spider web. The obstacle course continued on with a tight squeeze that required horses to back through barrels, a sled filled with cinder blocks that had to be dragged around the arena by a rope attached to their saddle horn, and finally the scariest obstacle of them all. “The Moving Drag” had everyone biting their nails to see if the horses had what it took to complete the challenge. A large flat platform being dragged by a tractor, began moving as the horses approached. They had to get their horse to step onto the moving drag and stand quietly while it pulled them across the arena, in front of the grandstands and cheering crowd, and through “The Cowboy Curtain.” The curtain was a series of brightly colored materials hanging in layers, which to the horses, looked as if they were about to be taken through a car wash. After they went through the finish line, the competitors had 60 seconds for a freestyle performance to generate bonus points and get the crowd going. Everything from bridle-less riding, full gallops ended with sliding stops, spins, and other performances to show off the true partnership these riders had with their horses. The most entertaining came from those with some tricks up their sleeves. Bella Corcoran, one of the youngest competitors, stood on the back of her horse while hula hooping, her horse standing quietly as if this was a normal occurrence. Her trainer, Stefanie Portman, had a last minute change and ended up bringing a young horse who had never done any obstacles before. For her freestyle, Bella, age 12, jumped up on Stefanie’s horse’s back while they trotted past, standing as they toured around the arena. Mike Roberts who finished in second Continued on Page 3
the great geauga county fair ~ 2015 Twenty-Eight Years of Horses at the Fair
Continued from Page 2 place, stole the show by showing off his mounted-shooting skills. While on his horse, Mike shot a group of glowing balloons surrounding his horse (using blank ammunition with black powder, like that used in the 1800s. Brenda Hanson and her horse named “Chicken”, proved to be a brave pair after all with their third place finish. Fourth place went to Sally Addington, whose horse attended another Fair that same day with her granddaughter. Coorie Moore won the Limited Division, taking home a beautiful horse blanket donated by Schneider’s Saddlery. The winner of the 2015 Horse and Rider Obstacle Challenge was a local Huntsburg resident. Casey Pierce and her horse Gunner, showed not only bravery and perfection at nearly every obstacle but got the crowd going wild when her freestyle consisted of Gunner riding the Moving Drag around the arena, without any bridle and without a rider. Casey stood in the center of the ring and waved and he cruised around while the crowd whistled and cheered, hoping the judges would give them the highest score. We can only imagine what Rich will have up his sleeve for next year’s Great Geauga County Fair.
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By Lynda Nemeth
am writing this just a day after the end of The Great Geauga County Fair. As much as we all enjoyed the warm sunshine for the Fair (maybe a little too warm at times), now that the Fair is over we seem to be mentally ready to move into fall. And apparently just in time, as the weather will be doing it with or without our consent. The bad news is, fall will eventually lead to winter; the good news is, until that happens we have what I consider the best time to be in Geauga County. Not only are the temps comfortable, the trees turning their golden hues, but we are just bursting with fun events and festivals throughout the next couple of months. Our farms and markets celebrate the bounty of the harvest with fall fests and for a couple of weekends
those hard working farms turn into play grounds as we explore their corn mazes, take hayrides, and find the perfect apples and pumpkins. We mark our calendars for the Apple Butter Festival, the Pumpkin Festival, Patterson Family Fun Fest, Mary Yoder’s Day, the Annual Anniversary Celebration at Middlefield Cheese Co-op, Pig Races at Ridgeview Farm, OxtoberFest in Burton, Jewels of Autumn Celebration at Auburn Pointe Greenhouse and the start of a new season at Geauga Lyric Theater Guild. So it’s time to take a big sigh after a busy Great Geauga County Fair and get ready for an even busier fall. If even a couple of those events are on your to-do list, be sure to stop by and get your Fall into Savings Passport to save yourself some money along the way, because colorful is wonderful but keeping a little ‘green’ is good too.
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Queen Bee Lori Gorrell, Auxiliary member, assists in the Honey Department in the Farm Products Building at The Great Geauga County Fair 2015.
Doug Sprague (Parkman) playing at the flag dedication ceremony held on Aug. 20.
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Entry level, no experience needed All training provided Full time/Part time/Weekends Several shifts available Immediate openings Call to schedule your interview: (440) 632-3398 | (440) 632-3399 8:00-3:00 Mon. - Fri. The Taylor girls showed cattle at The Great Geauga County Fair. Brooke, left, took first place in showmanship and first in market steer. Avery, middle, and Haylee, both received participation trophies. Great work girls! (MP Photo/ Debra Ehrhart)
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This 50 foot flagpole is a replacement for one erected in 1969. The intended purpose is for the flag to be seen from everywhere on the fairgrounds. It was the Great Geauga County Fair Auxiliary’s 2015 project and was purchased with proceeds from the Apple Pie Auctions and the Auxiliary‘s Country Store. The flag was installed in the memorial garden, near the gazebo on the hill. The garden contains a time capsule and a rock with a plaque dedicating it to all past, present and future Fair directors and Auxiliary members. The dedication ceremony was held Aug. 20. (inset) Linda Smallwood delivered the flag dedication speech. (MP Photos/Lori Gorrell and Mindy White)
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Nora Easton spun wool into yarn at The Great Geauga County Fair, 2015. (MP Photo/Susan Dacek)
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Crafters at the Geauga County Fair By Susan Dacek
ave you been to the Great Geauga County Fair this year? If not you missed out on a lot of fun and excitement. Although I understand the fair is not everyone’s “cup of tea”, one thing is, we can all learn from the craftsmanship exhibit from days gone by. This is an excellent opportunity to show the younger generation how things used to be made. Jim Anderson has been there for 27 years, spinning his pottery wheel and making beautiful pieces of pottery. People can see first hand how a piece is made from start to finish. He starts with a lump of wet clay and spins his wheel, transforming the clay, like magic, to form a bowl. Across the barn from Jim stands Beth Croup. Beth has been at the fair for 15 years demonstrating the art of rug hooking. She takes pieces of fine wool cut into very thin spaghetti sized strips and pulls them through a burlap pattern. Choosing just the right colors she fashions the material into a beautiful scene of flowers or other designs. Walking down a bit you can see a lady named Nora Easton spinning wool into yarn. Then Joyce Fath, who has been demonstrating weaving for several years, shares how yarn is treated and dyed and made into useful items that were so essential in years gone by. Next to the yarn is Joyce’s husband
Chuck making brooms. He takes the straw cut from the field and binds it together and sews it to the handle, somehow making it straight and tidy. It is amazing and fascinating to see these people craft these items so seemingly easy. These are things we never think of, things we take for granted. We just go to the store and purchase an inferior product, but at one time people had to make everything they needed. Across from the yarn is Deborah Klucho, who makes beautiful handcrafted soap in different colors and scents. Janice Doing, another long timer at the fair, is there demonstrating quilting. She puts together lovely quilts from pieced together fabrics. Then there is the smithy, the cool guy with the red hot iron, pounding it into something useful, a shoe for a horse or a door latch or a hitch for a wagon. Most of these things are made quite differently these days, but seeing them made in front of your eyes broadens the thinking of a child, or any of us, for that matter. This is the area of the fair that can be easily overlooked with all the attractions of the rides and food and animals, but it is a very educational part of the fair that can also be fun and inspiring. You never know what talents may be stirred up at the fair.
Jim Anderson crafted a bowl at The Great Geauga County Fair, 2015. (MP Photo/Susan Dacek)
the great geauga county fair ~ 2015
In the rabbit barn.
Steffanie Portman and Bella Corcoran riding during the Obstacle Challenge.
Action at the Chicken Flying Contest!
Junior Fair Swine Show.
Junior Fair Sheep Show.
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Patrick Cooper riding his horse, Eli, during the Obstacle Challenge.
Carl Hornung, Middlefield councilman and veteran, at the Veteransâ€™ Tent.
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The Great Geauga County Fair 2015 Attendance: 196,607
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By Ty Kellogg
ounty fairs are finally behind me and I hope this unusually hot weather is, too. During each of our county fairs, I and many volunteers try to talk to you about the benefits of being a Farm Bureau member. I personally equate a Farm Bureau membership to a brand new power tool with multiple settings. These settings all take a little time and practice to get comfortable with to truly reap the benefits. So without further ado, let me introduce you to my favorite Farm Bureau benefits. 1. Farm Bureau Programs – Every county Farm Bureau uses their member dollars to create programs that address a variety of needs – social, legislative issues and agriculture law, succession planning, taxes and safety, trips to Columbus and DC, scholarship opportunities along with the delicious county annual meeting, among other things. 2. Legislative Representation – Ohio Farm Bureau and American Farm Bureau are the most sought after agriculture resource by our officials in Columbus and DC and our members. Whether it is zoning, taxes, conservation easements, estate taxes, oil and gas, exemptions, eminent domain or water quality, Farm Bureau is working around the clock to keep agriculture a priority. We want agriculture and the entire food chain to remain economically strong, accessible and reliable. It is the largest industry in Ohio. 3. Accidental Death and Dismemberment Policy – Certainly not a ‘sexy’ benefit but where else can you get up to $1,000 in death and dismemberment coverage for only $60 to $80 a year? After your first year of renewal, that policy increases and holds steady at $5,000. That’s quite a bit of coverage for an annual fee. Just remember, this is a limited accident policy. 4. Choice Hotels – Before I came to Farm Bureau, I traveled quite a bit for my other job and often stayed at a Choice Hotel, receiving up to 20 percent off. In three hotel stays, I made back my membership dues.
Just remember to call in your reservation ahead of time and use the number on the back of your membership card. 5. Grainger – Whether it’s plastic gloves, cleaning supplies, zip ties… anything that involves heavy duty, industrial or tools, get it from a Grainger catalogue, make sure you let them know you’re a Farm Bureau member, get 10 percent off AND FREE FREIGHT. Whether you’re at home, on the farm, in the shop or in the office, this is always a good deal. 6. Nationwide Insurance – I come from a Nationwide family. Farm Bureau started Nationwide in 1926. Fortunately, I’ve only had to use claims a couple times but the claims service was second-tonone. I’ve got a home, a truck, musical instruments, hunting and farming equipment and some other costly items – I know I’m covered. Want to see other benefits of your membership? Please visit http://ofbf.org/ to learn more and if you’re not a member, join today. Mark your calendars for our first ever Horse Management Seminar on Saturday Oct. 3 at Lake Erie College Equestrian Center on Pinecrest Road in Painesville. The fun begins at 9 a.m. If you’d like to see what other events we have coming up, please “like” our Facebook page,www.facebook. com/geaugacountyfarmbureau. To become a member, please visit our online application at www.volunteers. growwithfb.org Timothy “Ty” Kellogg was born and raised in Geauga County on a 112 acre fifth generation farm in Chardon. A graduate of Kent State University, Ty received his bachelors degree in Electronic Media Production, which is the fancy way of saying audio-visual work for television and radio broadcast. Not wanting to leave Ohio for work, Ty became the organization director of the northeast counties Farm Bureau and acts as a liaison between his county board of trustees and the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. In his spare time, he enjoys hunting, trapping, fishing, food, a good cigar, Wild Turkey whiskey, pickin’ his banjo and guitar and spending time with his fiancé, Lisa.
Grant Opportunity Available The Geauga County Sunshine Shop Board is now accepting grant requests from Geauga County not-for-profit organizations who serve individuals and families in crisis or in need. A seven-member board governs The Sunshine Shop, which has been in operation for more than 30 years. The mission of the shop is to provide assistance to low income individuals and families residing in Geauga County. Funds are raised by selling donated clothing and household items at The Sunshine Thrift Shop, located on the Geauga County Fairgrounds. Grant requests should be a single page and include your organization’s contact information, purpose or mission, who you serve, what the grant money would be used for and how much you are requesting. Organizations who received a grant award last year must also include information on how their grant was spent. Requests should be mailed to: The Sunshine Shop Board, P.O. Box 917, Burton, OH, 44021 and be postmarked by Oct. 16. For information contact Sara, 440-285-9141, ext. 1263.
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the great geauga county fair ~ 2015 Susan Dacek was born and raised in a suburb of Cleveland. She has been a resident of Geauga county and neighboring communities for 33 years. She has a passion for the arts and entertainment and how music, arts, and creativity feeds your spirit, boosting your health.
overwhelmed, realizing a lot of these people wouldn’t have had a chance to be at the fair without the help of the Department on Aging and the care for seniors in Geauga County. The Department on Aging has a regular staff but relies heavily on great volunteers. For information on the Department for Aging or to become a volunteer, go to co.geauga.oh.us/Departments/Aging.
r easur es... (l-r) Sandy McLeod, senior center supervisor and senior Harriet Brown at the tent for seniors at The Great Geauga County Fair (MP Photo/Susan Dacek)
By Susan Dacek
Seniors at the Fair
y parents were living in Richland county, but due to my mother’s health problems they needed to be close to other family members, so found themselves moving up north to Geauga County’s snow belt for their golden years at the end of November. At first we didn’t realize we needed help or that any was available. It was winter, Mom and Dad were a bit shell-shocked from moving from a 2,400 square foot house to a small condo; we got by the best we could, and hibernated. However; Mom, being the adventurer that she is, wanted to get out, looked around and started going to the Senior Center in Middlefield in between her doctor visits. That’s when we discovered the wonderful Department on Aging. At the Senior Center Mom met people, chatted with new friends, had a hot lunch (even though Dad always makes great meals) and even picked up a loaf of bread for the week. Soon after, Mom heard how much the Senior Center in Chardon had to offer and learned she could travel on the Geauga transit free for a limited amount of trips. Going up to Chardon she was out of the house longer and it felt like more of an adventure. While there are plenty of activities to get involved in at the centers, there is so much more to this agency. They will help transport to a medical appointment, bring meals to the home, help with energy bills, help with tax preparation, legal services, medical answers and much more. One of the most important things they provide is an ability for seniors to be independent longer. They are my helping angels, providing so much for my mother that I could not, like directing her to resources such as crisis services, emergency response systems, assessment programs, and housing, just to name a few. They brought my parents wheelchairs so we could go to The Great Geauga County Fair. We have been going to the fair for as long as I can remember, and since my parents live close by, Dad wanted to go and take Mom. She can no longer walk very far and needs to carry an oxygen tank for shortness of breath, so it seemed like a trip to the fair was not going to happen until Mom talked to someone at the agency. They brought us the wheelchair and oxygen tanks and offered to drive my parents to the fair, but my sister and her husband were here from Georgia and drove them. When we arrived at the fair there were many vans dropping off golden agers
and wheelchairs. It was a beautiful sight to see all of the elderly residents getting a chance to go to the fair. The Department on Aging had a tent set up with refreshments, lemonade, water, cookies and ample seats for the elderly to have a place to refresh and socialize. I really thought my parents would be finished with the fair in a few hours. We got there early to avoid the heat and ate breakfast at Dad’s favorite Grange. We went to the Department on Aging’s tent where Mom snagged a few cookies. We pushed Mom’s wheelchair through the fair booths with the craftsmanship, soap making, pottery, rug hooking and quilt making. We went through the antique barn and saw items we remembered in our home as I was growing up. All the while we could hear the Chardon Polka Band in the background. Dad and my brother-in-law went to see the tractors and tent set up by the veterans. We ate lunch at Art’s Famous BBQ and then we all sat and listened to the fair band. They were as good as usual, playing the traditional Labor Day songs. I soon realized we had spent six wonderful hours at the fair. As I looked at all the people, I was
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