OTTUMWA — Ottumwa Park was busy Wednesday as 4-H participants unloaded horses from trailers and prepared for the daylong Horse Show.
The Horse Show is part of the the Wapello County 4-H Expo and is held annually at the stable located in Ottumwa Park. The bleachers were filled with supporters as they watched their competitors show off what they had learned all year. The 4-H horse and pony program gives kids interested in animal science experience in selecting and managing show horses.
"I'd say this is the funnest thing I've ever done," said competitor Allan Angle as he waited alongside his brother for his event to start.
Angle explained that someone who has never ridden a horse should be sure to pick the right one and they won't have to worry about getting bucked off. Angle sat atop his horse, Mable, and explained that he had been riding for four years and finds it very enjoyable.
"I really like riding my horse because it's fun and I get to be with my friends," said Angle. "I will do it in the future. I like it that much."
The Wapello County 4-H Expo's reigning queen, Hannah Aslesen, was high on her horse, Miss Kitty, as she explained her love for the sport. Aslesen took time out of her week of royal duties to be able show off her hard work and Miss Kitty's perfected walk and trot.
"I have been showing horses for about five or six years," she said. "I like the connection between me and my horse after we practice throughout the year."
According to Aslesen, she spends her time practicing Western Pleasure in her arena all year long in order to show off their skills together at the expo's Horse Show.
"I will do this forever. It definitely has become a life-long love of mine," said Aslesen.
— Follow reporter Danielle Lunsford on Twitter @CourierDanielle