Horse-power on display at the state fair

HARRINGTON — Tina Joyner had to pinch herself to actually believe it was her name that was announced as a winner at the Delaware State Fair on Monday morning.

Once Mrs. Joyner discovered that she had indeed captured first place in the Adult Equitation discipline at the Delaware State Fair Horse Show, she couldn’t contain her tears as she gleefully trotted her horse from the middle of Quillen Arena.

“It’s awesome,” said Mrs. Joyner, of Dover. “What a way to get the day started. Mission accomplished. I’ve never won an event at the Delaware State Fair.
“English riding is the thing that I’ve been trying to get better at, so this is a great way to start.”

It was a busy day at the state fair for the horse show competitors as 37 different competitions were held, featuring everything from English riding, Western riding, barrel racing, costume class, dollar bareback and everything in between.

Tina Joyner of Dover after winning a blue ribbon in the adult equitation competition at the Delaware State Fair Monday. (Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh)

Chad Moshier, from Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, was right in the middle of it all as he served as the judge and worked alongside ringmaster Mark Barczewski, of Newark.

“It’s not too bad,” said Mr. Moshier, who has been judging horse shows for about 10 years. “There are a lot of good quality horses out there and it’s tough to pick out the top couple, but they each make a little bobble here and there.”

Mrs. Joyner didn’t have too many bobbles atop her horse, named Hands off my Hot Rod, but is also simply known as “Freddie.”

Judge Chad Moshier, of Dillsburg, PA, making notes on grading points at the saddle performance horse show.

She won a division that featured 13 competitors and her horse was judged on how well he could trot, canter, walk and other disciplines.

“I’ve been riding for a long time but this is my fourth year showing him,” she said. “He’s a great horse. He is an all-around horse. He even goes and jumps for me if I want him to.

“He’s just an awesome horse. English, Western, whatever I ask him to do, he’ll go out and do it.”

Kimberley Gott smiles at spectators as she performs with her horse at the Delaware State Fair Monday.

The horse riding competitions got underway at 9 in the morning on Monday and continued until late in the afternoon.

Harrington’s Haydan Parker had one of the coolest jobs around. The youngster handed out the ribbons to the top finishers in each division.

“I like the state fair because I get to stay here,” she said, “and it’s fun because you just wake up and then you get to come out here (and enjoy the sights and sounds).”

Ring master Mark Barczewski (left) of Newark and Judge Chad Moshier keeping a close eye on competitors in the saddle performance Monday.

Ashley Bullock, from Denton, Maryland, has become accustomed to showing her horses nationally so a visit to the state fair was a nice change of pace.

She captured first place in the Youth Equitation for riders 10- to 13-years-old.

“It’s real entertaining because once you go through all of these classes like this you see difference people who have experienced different situations that you have and you get to enjoy different things with them,” Ms. Bullock said.

“The state fair’s a lot of fun because you get to meet a lot of different people. Everyone goes to different schools so you see people in your own age group and you get to enjoy it all with them.”

Patty Body, from Landenberg, Pennsylvania, travels down to the state fair every year where she has developed several traditions — one of which is sit in the grandstands at the Quillen Arena to enjoy the horse show competition.

Ms. Body was in the 4-H Club while growing up and still has hopes of getting her own horse one day. Her favorite competition is the Lead Line class, in which adults lead beginning riders atop their horses through the arena.

Family members pitch in the get eight-year-old Tyla Moffett, of Wyoming, ready for English style competition at the Delaware State Fair Monday.

“I like the outfits, the parent-child connection with the little kids on the big horses,” Ms. Body said.

While much of her Monday was spent watching riders atop majestic horses she made sure she also got in many of the other attractions.

“It’s excellent,” she said, of the Delaware State Fair. “There’s so much to see at the fair, there’s something for everybody and it’s different every year — plus the things you come back for every year, like the horses.”

As for Mrs. Joyner, her experience at the Delaware State Fair Horse Show was one that will forever be remembered.

With a horse neighing off in the distance, she said, “You can’t beat winning a blue ribbon at the state fair. I’m super excited. You can’t beat this feeling.”

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