ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - 4-H began more than 100 years ago and has been a part of the Rapides Parish Fair for more than 50 years.
Lou Brown, Secretary of Fair Association said, "When the fair was established, it was pretty much for the 4-H members to be able to exhibit their livestock and also exhibit the things that are here in the exhibit building."
Every year, 4-H kids of all ages gather dressed to impress to showcase their beautiful horses.
Although some horses get a little grumpy, five-year competitor, Isabelle Dunn constantly reminds her two horses Joe, and Oreo that the competition should always be fun.
“You know, sometimes you don’t win but it's always fun to try,” explained Dunn. “And you’re just supposed to have fun.
The 4-H members compete in either the showmanship or the halter class.
The judge focuses on the horses’ composure as well as how the owners interact with the horse. But the skills don’t come overnight.
Sallye Dugas the 4-H agent explained that "The kids prepare all year long, they ride the horses every day, getting them ready for these events. For a lot of kids, this isn't the only event that they compete in. They compete all year long for this."
Many competitors said that practicing, grooming, and feeding the horse is very important or they will become dirty and not perform as well.
Dugas also says 4-H likes to have events like this to keep the program fun and interesting so that the members will stay engaged and continue their membership even through junior high school.