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Prairie Home Always Welcoming to Walking Horses



by Jennifer Maack-Condren

PRAIRIE HOME, Mo. – For 93 years, Prairie Home has hosted a society horse show and fair in the heart of downtown, literally yards away from the business district. This show creates many challenges as it is also only yards away from the midway and carnival rides that travel to the local county fairs. A seat could not be found in the grandstand that lines the south side of arena and it was difficult to find a place on the rail to view the classes as the local turnout is overwhelming. No other show on the Midwest circuit draws this type of crowd.

However, the horse turn out was extremely low this year, as once again it rained on show day. Missouri’s weather and Mother Nature are putting quite a damper on the number of horses turning out for several shows. In the Thoroughbred industry, many horses are known as “mudders.” Well we will soon be able to make those judgments for many walking horses on the Midwest circuit.

Compliments are certainly sent out for the group of dedicated individuals who did all they could with the show ring, but it was still challenging at best. The sticky mud at the beginning of the show became slick as the dew fell and cool temperatures set in.

Red Henson made the trip from Joplin, Mo., to judge the 14 walking horse classes. Announcer Dick Liedorff never runs out of stories while performing announcing duties. Show Manager Pamela Zey does a great job putting this show together year after year.

Kicking off the show in blue ribbon fashion was Kolton York and Mr. Black Sundust for the Kris and Kay York family. This was the first show for this third-generation exhibitor and the pair made it look effortless as they conquered the mud in the Juvenile 11 & Under class. Last year, Kolton’s sister, Kelsi, received the same honor in this class with Pusher’s High Cotton.

Jerry Manes and Spirit And Silver claimed their third open title this season as they rode out with the blue for Andrew and Austin Rhoads, under the direction of Wade and Margaret Hickman. 

With the carnival rides still in full-swing, another Prairie Home show was chalked-up as completed. Cooper County residents and exhibitors from all over the state will be looking forward to the 94th annual Society Horse Show held the same time each year, downtown Prairie Home, and maybe Mother Nature will be a little more cooperative.

Complete results can be viewed by clicking here.

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