Sisters Ava and Grace Chadd dominated the junior division of the horse events at the Pratt County Fair.
It's not unusual for sisters to compete with each other. For sisters 9-year-old Ava and 7-year-old Grace Chadd, a lot of that competition is done on horseback and at a full gallop.
The girls are in the Southwest 4-H Club and went head-to-head during the timed events of the horse competitions at the Pratt County Fair. Competing in the Junior Division, the girls went after each other in Barrels, Flag Race, Pole Bending, Keyhole and Goat Tying.
Ava is in her third year of 4-H while Grace is in her first year. Both girls love competing and seeing who can turn in the fastest time. Ava took first in Barrels beating out Grace by just 0.7 of a second. In the Flag Race, Ava once again took first but just by three seconds over Grace in second place.
Ava took first in Pole Bending even after she knocked a pole down for a five second penalty. Grace broke the pattern and received no time. In Keyhole, it was Grace's turn to shine taking first place while Ava was seven seconds behind in fourth place.
Finishing up the timed events, Ava again took first with Grace placing fourth in Goat Tying.
Ava said she loves riding because she gets to go fast on her horse Trevor. Her favorite events are the Barrels and Pole Bending.
"I feel very comfortable in those events," said Ava who has ridden almost all of her life.
Goat tying is Ava's hardest event. Success depends a lot on the goat. Sometimes they kick hard and it's hard to tie them. It takes a lot of practice, said Ava who gets in two practices a week with Denise Miller in St. John. She learns the basics and how to fix mistakes.
Miller teaches Ava how to stay calm and go along for the ride. But Miller also teaches that riders have to let the horse know who is boss. Ava also learns a lot from her dad Shane.
Ava admits that Grace is really fast and sometimes beats her. Ava said she and Grace encourage each other when they are up against each other but Grace said they compete.
Grace has been riding most of her life. She enjoys working with her horse "Catfish" and has been riding regularly since she was 5. She rides bareback and also works with Miller and her dad.
Grace's favorite event is barrels and goat tying. She likes barrels because she likes it when her horse goes fast. She likes goats because it's fun but also challenging to get the goats tied. Its also good when the goat stays tied and she gets an official time.
Pole bending is Grace's hardest event. Sometimes the horse goes too wide when he zigzags.
She likes training because if she is having problems, Miller will tell her to try something else to fix the problem. Grace enjoys helping other 4-H'ers learn how to ride horses better.
Of all the 4-H'ers she knows, she has gotten a lot of help from Shiloh Murray.
For Ava, Sydney Koirth has helped her a lot with her horse events.
Besides getting to compete in the horse events, Ava likes to clean and help get the fairgrounds ready for the fair. One of the hardest things for Ava is getting to practice on time. They live 25 miles outside of town and it takes a while to get where they are going.
Besides horses, Ava also has projects in crafts and art, photography and shows pigs and calves. Grace does crafts and arts, photography and will show a pig.
Ava and Grace are the daughters of Liz Chadd and Shane Chadd.