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Junior Fair kids show off their animals

T-L Photo/SHELLEY HANSON DAKOTA TAYLOR, 9, of Morristown holds one his broiler hens Thursday during the Belmont County Junior Fair.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Caelyn Crooks enjoys caring for and riding her palomino painted horse named Daisy.

Crooks, 12, of Morristown, was among the hundreds of youth participating in junior fair competitions and auctions Thursday at the Belmont County Fair.

The fair, which continues today and Saturday, at the fairgrounds off Roscoe Road in St. Clairsville, has been scaled back to junior fair events only because of the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic. Because of this there is no fee for the public to enter. People can check out the animals and 4-H exhibits and eat food from the vendors stationed there.

Crooks said her horse is 4 years old and likes to chew on things. Her competition style is Western Pleasure, which is slower movements by the horse.

“I started riding when I was 2 and taking lessons when I was 6,” Crooks said of horseback riding.

“I like that she catches on easily and it doesn’t take a lot to teach her,” she said of Daisy. “She is smart and sneaky.”

In the poultry barn, Dakota Taylor, 9, of Morristown was tending to his broiler hens, aka cornish cross. He said he feeds and waters the birds — named barbecue, crispy and yum — twice a day.

“It’s been cool,” Taylor said in describing what it has been like raising the chickens since they were just days old.

Taylor also raises fancy chickens that were judged, but not up for auction like the broilers. With his anticipated sale money, he said he planned to save it and maybe buy more fancy chickens.

In the goat barn, Cori King, 13, of Jacobsburg was hanging out with her goats, Woody and Bullseye, and friend Kierstyn Unroe, 14, of Flushing.

“It’s pretty fun, but it’s a lot of hard work,” King said of raising the goats.

While raising them she woke up early each morning to feed and water them and also exercised them each afternoon, which consisted of letting the animals run freely. The goats were fed a corn and pellet feed.

The 4-H barn contains numerous clubs’ creations and work done just for the fair, too. For example, in the Bethesda Buckeyes’ booth there was a poster created by Wyatt Wehr titled “Explore the Outdoors, Things I Discovered.”

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