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Equine Events Draw Riders to Grange Fair

by on August 22, 2014 6:15 AM

Wendy Johnson didn't grow up riding horses. In fact, she didn't start her new passion until a few years ago as an adult.

That's when she learned that horses and equine shows could be a vacation from day-to-day life.

"It's very therapeutic. I've had a lot of health issues and I'm still riding," Johnson says. "It has kept me sane. They gave me my life back."

Johnson of Bellefonte will be showing her new horse, 11-year-old Taio, for the first time at the Grange Fair, in the Centre County Residents Show on Sunday.

"This is going to be a learning experience for all of us," she says.

Cassidy Roadarmel and Abigail Kuntzman, both 14 and of Danville, will also be showing horses this week at the fair, including Duke, a 16-year-old draft horse.

Both have been riding horses since they were about 4. The girls' 4-H leader Amy Snover got them involved with shows. The girls will compete in various equine shows Saturday and Sunday, including cart driving, showmanship and decorating.

"It's fun to watch the other kids and see what they're doing. Everyone does things a little different. It's fun to see what happens," says Roadarmel.

Kuntzman says, "It's just a great experience and they're like my life."

Johnson will also show her miniature horse, Rizzo, which she got from a rescue group. Last year, in Rizzo's first show, she earned first place.

Johnson says riders don't need to start the hobby in childhood. She says anyone can take up horseback riding, no matter their age.

"You just have to find the right person to help you and the right horse that is going to take care of you," she says. "Anyone can do it whether you are 3 or 93."

For the full Grange Fair schedule, click HERE.

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Jennifer Miller is a reporter for StateCollege.com. She has worked in journalism since 2005. She's covered news at the local, state and national level with an emphasis on crime and local government.
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