by Jennifer Maack-Condren

SEDALIA, Mo. - The Missouri State Fair Society Horse Show was held Aug. 5-7, in Sedalia, Mo. Margo Urad made the trip from Rockwall, Texas to judge the 33 classes that took place during four performances.

The extreme hot temperatures outside made the air conditioning of the Mathewson Exhibition Center a welcome relief for the exhibitors, horses and spectators. Daytime temperatures easily surpassed the 100 mark for the first day of competition but thankfully dropped for the final two. Entries were down nearly 10 percent from 2007 with a total of 125. Show Manager Leonard Davenport was pleased with the number and quality of entries present at this year’s show.

The Wednesday morning performance was host to the Heart of America Walking Horse Association Futurity classes, which featured seven classes.
The first two days of the fair were reminiscent of any other multi-day show, however, once opening day of the fair arrived it was a different story. Between the fireworks at the grandstand and the rock wall climbing next to the warm-up ring, walking horse exhibitors were relieved their final night was the first night of the fair.

On the last evening, a few minutes were taken to recognize two very dedicated individuals: Bob Reavis and Evelyn Porter. Together these two have more than 100 years of service to the Missouri State Fair and they were very deservingly inducted into the State Fair Hall of Fame. Davenport read a touching biography for each one and they were presented plaques and roses in the presence of their family and friends on this opening night of the fair.
The crowd was fired up to see the final class for the walking horse as four fine entries entered the gate for the Championship Stake one by one. Judge Urad put the entries through their gaits with each one’s cheering section verbalizing their support. Saddles were stripped and conformation was judged and the card was marked. PJ’s Pusher and Brad Huffman were called to the winner’s circle for the 2008 Missouri State Fair Champion. This win brings their total to eight for the season for Dean Scott. Victory Colors and Jim Huffman were reserve in the class for Jim and Donna Huffman.

This year’s fair theme was “For the Fun of It” and that was certainly true as this year’s entries made this fair one of the best in several years. The ending of the State Fair marks the ending of the summer show season in Missouri and the hot temperatures made one wishful for fall and the fall shows that are just around the corner.

Complete results can be found by clicking here.