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Four youth compete in various categories of horsemanship at Oregon State Fair last month

 - Tristan Sutherlin with his horse, Minx. The State Fair was his first year in intermediate and first time as a state qualifier in the equestrian division. He was one of the youths to qualify for Ranch Horse State Fair, in addition to Josie Lauman.

Representing Crook County, a 4-H team of four youth came back from state fair with a number of winnings in various categories of horsemanship.

In addition, a 4-H member from Jefferson County went with the team, with four of the five members from the Calvary Riders 4-H Club. The other club represented was Blazing Saddles. Accompanied by parents and 4-H leaders, the youth hauled their horses to the Oregon State Fair on Aug. 24 and showed on Aug. 25 through Aug. 28.

The youth who competed included Josie Lauman, Tristan Sutherlin, Emma Brandau and Aubrey DeRoest. The name of the Jefferson County youth was unknown as of the time of the article.

Kitty Lauman, horse trainer, 4-H leader and firefighter, was the 4-H leader for the four from Calvary Riders. She was pleased with how well all the youth on the team did at state fair.

"I love helping kids," said Lauman. "That has been something I have enjoyed my whole life. I have done riding lessons, I became a 4-H leader nine years ago, and I love watching these kids grow, and I love watching them learn."

She indicated that her daughter, Josie, qualified for the state fair competition on her foal, Sammy, whom she has trained with for the past four years. Josie showed her foal at state and won the medallion medal in Intermediate Jumping on her. This was Josie's third year in intermediate, and she is a third-year state qualifier.

"I am incredibly tickled with her and her abilities, and our Jefferson County girl was the same thing—she qualified with a baby that she started from a weanling," added Lauman.

Josie also won a medallion medal in pole bending on her horse, Red. In addition, she won a blue ribbon on Red in intermediate barrel racing and a blue ribbon on Red in intermediate figure 8 race.

In addition to the medallion on Sammy in intermediate jumping, Josie won a blue ribbon on Sammy in intermediate showmanship and a red ribbon in intermediate Western equitation.

Lauman added that they can use more 4-H kids in their program, as well as leaders and volunteers.

"4-H is a very valuable horse learning opportunity — and 4-H in general."

She pointed out that in the horse portion of 4-H, they learn about the care, parts of the horse, and parts of the saddle.

"There is a lot more of a learning involved in 4-H, which I think is amazing for anyone who wants to have horses in their life," she said.

Lauman went on to say, "There are so many opportunities. Several of these kids also qualified for the Ranch Horse State Fair, but they decided not to hold that this year."

Also, in Lauman's Calvary Riders was Tristan Sutherlin. He rode his horse, Minx, and it was his first year in intermediate and first time as a state qualifier. He was one of the youths to qualify for Ranch Horse State Fair, in addition to Josie Lauman.

Sutherlin won a medallion ribbon in intermediate barrel racing; a medallion ribbon in figure 8 race; and a blue ribbon in intermediate showmanship; and a white ribbon in intermediate Western equitation.

"They did awesome, it's against all the 36 counties that represent the state of Oregon at state, and our kids did really well," commented Briana Sutherlin, Tristan's mother. "I think a lot of people don't know that we even have horse fair, because it doesn't occur during regular fair activities. It's always held the week before or a couple of weeks before the end of July."

She added that the youth haven't had meetings for more than 18 months because of COVID restrictions, and they have been dedicating their time in spite of that.

The last member of the Calvary Riders was Emma Brandau, who was a second-year intermediate and first-time state qualifier for state. She rode her horse, Shyla, at the competitions, and won a red ribbon in intermediate showmanship; a red ribbon in intermediate pole bending; and a white ribbon in intermediate barrel racing.

"All of the kids that went to state were exceptional riders and had a wonderful time and great representation of Crook County," said Natalie Brandau, Emma's mother.

She went on to comment on the value of 4-H, "It's an opportunity to learn responsibility, horsemanship, herdsmanship, teamwork and getting to learn how to be compassionate to others — and a competitor as well as how to learn how to have good days and bad but to continue on and push through."

Aubrey DeRoest was a third-year senior, and a member of the 4-H club, Blazing Saddles. She has been competing in 4-H for four years. She competed on her horse, Izzy, at the state fair.

DeRoest earned a blue ribbon in trail; a blue ribbon in showmanship; a red ribbon in Western equitation; and a red ribbon in hunt seat equitation. She is also an accomplished artist and received the highest medallion award for her pencil drawing that she entered in the state fair, as well as three exceptional awards for her other artwork.

"It's an honor to compete at the Oregon State Fair, and we are so proud that we had the opportunity to represent Crook County," stated Julie DeRoest, Aubrey's mother. "I am glad we had some normalcy for our youth, and we were able to participate."

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