Horse Shows Mark Opening of Alpena County Fair | News, Sports, Jobs

News Photo by Julie Riddle At the Alpena County Fairgrounds on Friday, 10-year-old Amelia Heinemann enjoys a loving moment with Mirage, an Arabian horse she will ride in horse shows at the fair this week.

ALPENA – Horse lovers will get special treatment at the Alpena County Fair today.

Horse shows are held at the fairgrounds throughout the summer, but this year marks the first time in recent years that the shows have matched the county fair.

Riders in smart riding gear will show off their horses’ gaits – and their own hard work – at Horses on the Rise 4H shows throughout the day today and Sunday morning.

Young riders from MKM Equine Synergy Services in Posen moved their mounts into the stable at the fairgrounds on Friday evening.

Working with horses teaches young people about work ethic, commitment and endurance, said Michelle Mercier, volunteer and mother of a rider.

News Photo by Julie Riddle Bernadette, a riding horse who will be competing at the Alpena County Fair, looks up from an itchy roll at the fairground Friday night.

She and her daughter, Grace, calm nervous rescue horse Bernadette by performing breathing exercises and relaxing before working with the horse, which, like other horses, reflects human emotion.

“They don’t speak to us in English,” Mercier said. “They talk to us about energy.”

With several previous shows under her belt, 13-year-old Addison Spicer said performing in front of a fair crowd didn’t make her nervous.

Life around horses is hard work, she says.

“But it’s worth it,” Spicer said. “Especially at the end of the day, if you have had a good lap. Your horse is happy.

News Photo by Julie Riddle Grace Mercier, left, loads sawdust into a wheelbarrow to house a horse at the Alpena County Fairgrounds on Friday.

Horses on the Rise shows start at 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. on Sunday.

Julie Riddle can be reached at 989-358-5693 or jriddle@thealpenanews.com. Follow her on Twitter @jriddleX.

News photo by Julie Riddle At the Alpena County Fairgrounds on Friday, 8-year-old Madelyn Hegenauer, center, and 10-year-old Amelia Heinemann spend time with horses they will be riding in shows at the fair this week.

News Photo by Julie Riddle At the Alpena County Fairgrounds on Friday, Addison Spicer, 13, center, spends time with Caruso, an Arabian horse she will be riding in horse shows at the fair this week.


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