Brother and sister Creek Plemons and Haley Halsey won some highly coveted awards at the Montgomery County 4-H Fair’s annual Horse and Pony Show this year.
Plemons, 10, won Grand Champion English Animal and cleaned up as champion of the show’s Versatility Class portion, while Halsey, 16, won Grand Champion Western Animal for her seven-year-old quarterhorse mare.
Complete with names like Dash and Bunny (registered as Sheza Real Keeper), their horses gave the siblings an opportunity to be recognized for their showmanship abilities, developed around the calendar for the past three years.
“It was very exciting and worth it,” Halsey said. “This is my first time. The first two years that I showed in 4-H I had a different horse.”
Halsey is a student at Connections Academy online, while Plemons is entering his fifth-grade year at New Market Elementary.
“Creek loves showing his horse Dash all year,” mother Karen Plemons said. “His favorite events are showmanship and horsemanship. Both Haley and Creek ride at Rocking L Equestrian Center south of Crawfordsville.”
Ask if the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic changed the experience from previous years, both took the question in stride.
Plemons said, except for the masks, this year’s fair was not that much different. Halsey’s comments echoed those of her brother, saying she understands precautions need to be taken.
“It’s wasn’t too bad,” Halsey said. “We did have to wear a mask and halter, and we had to wear a mask when we were up by the gate, but it wasn’t super duper different, just a little bit.”
The Plemons family owns the Rocking L Equestrian Center southwest of Crawfordsville, where Plemons and Halsey frequently ride, Karen said.
“The best place to go (to sign up for the equestrian club of 4-H) is to get in touch with Abby Morgan at the Purdue Extension Office,” Karen said, “but my parents own the Rocking L Equestrian Center — people are more than welcome to come and we can get them involved with 4-H for next year.”
The equestrian 4-H club is near and dear to the Plemons’ hearts, and promoting the club is important to them, Karen said.
“We would love to encourage anyone interested in 4-H Horse and Pony to join,” she said. “If anyone needs help or has any questions, (Morgan), Lori Bushong or Jonna Anderson would be able to help. (Morgan) also did a great job at navigating 4-H this year. We would like to thank all of them for their great efforts.”