The three grand champions in the two-day horse competition at the Pratt County Fair were probably partying till the cows came home Tuesday night at the conclusion of competition.
The three winners are Payje Orler, senior division, Jarod DeWeese, intermediate, and Adrein McFarland, junior division. All three have been horse grand champions before.
Orler has been in 4-H seven years but has been involved in the horse competition for 11 years starting out in open class.
This is her second time as senior grand champion and she has also been an intermediate grand champion.
Orler almost had to get involved in the horse events because both her older sisters Makala and Chyenne were also in the horse program. Both sisters are now also involved with the Pratt Community College rodeo team.
Orler's favorite competition is the barrel race in the timed events. She likes it best because riding fast was what her horse, Bubbles, was trained to do.
For that same reason, the events on the first day that require horse and rider to move at a much slower pace are the most difficult.
"My horse is used to speed. We both like to go fast," Orler said.
Orler trains through out the year for the competition. During the winter she will ride once a week but when spring and summer roll around she will ride every day.
She works with her sister Chyenne every day at PCC and said she had a lot of improvement.
She has also worked with Jo Moody of South Dakota and it has helped her significantly.
"It has changed my riding technique a lot,"
Besides her sisters, Orler gets a lot of encouragement from her parents who have taught her that even if she does something wrong she can learn from it, get back on the horse and do better.
Orler said 4-H helps develop leadership skills and gets people out of their comfort zone.
Adrein McFarland may be only 11 years old but she has been riding in 4-H competitions since she was in open class lead line at the age of 3. This is her second year as Junior Grand Champion.
McFarland rode her horse Sunflower during the competitions this year. Like Orler, McFarland's favorite event is barrels because it's fun to go fast and make fast turns. Her most difficult events are the slower ones because Sunflower was meant for speed and he wants to go.
Part of McFarland's training has been with Charmayne James, an 11 time National Finals Rodeo barrels champion. McFarland has worked with her several times in clinics and that has helped improve her barrel skills.
Page 2 of 2 - Among 4-H'ers, Hannah Spitzer and Alesha Bergner have been very encouraging and tell her when she has done a good job. McFarland's mom and dad and brothers have all helped her as well.
McFarland wants people to join 4-H so they can do better at what they do and get to know people.
Jarod DeWeese repeated his win from two years ago and he did it using two different horses; Packy for the speed events and Rosco for the slower events.
Like the other grand champions, DeWeese's favorite event is barrels because he gets to go fast and its challenging. Poles are the most difficult event for DeWeese who said you have to go slower because of the turns and you have to steer a lot better.
DeWeese doesn't get a lot of riding time in the winter but he rides at least a couple of times a week including at Fun Shows and practices.
He gets a lot of encouragement from 4-H horse leaders Nakol Orler and Anita DeWeese who is his mother.
He also gets a lot of encouragement and help with skills from Makala Orler and from his sisters Taylor and Jessica who are always available to ride with him and help him with his skills.
He encourages others to join 4-H because it's a lot of fun plus they would get to meet new friends at camp.
"I still stay in touch with friends I have met at functions," DeWeese said.
DeWeese said he was in 4-H because it was a lot of fun and rewarding. He also gets prizes and gets to see his friends.
He also liked the cool weather. It was not as stressful on the horses, DeWeese said.