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Kentucky State Fair horse-show attendee | by Joey Harrison
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Kentucky State Fair horse-show attendee

One of the signature events of the state fair is the weeklong horse show. It takes place in a large dirt-floor arena that's dyed green, with a flower-surrounded island in the middle. The horses are beautiful, with fluffed tails that first rise vertically and then fall almost to the ground. Picture "I Dream of Jeannie" 's hairdo.

 

The riders wear black topcoats and wide-brimmed black hats. For the sulky event -- not a race; more of a fast, circular catwalk -- the drivers wear colorful satin tops and sit atop chromed and polished sulkies that are strictly for show.

 

Best of all is the crowd. They dress as though for a New Year's Eve ball. Some add a dash of humor. They're remarkably friendly people. Everyone I asked to pose, did so without hesitation. They struck me as very confident, very self-possessed.

 

Tickets are very expensive, so I photographed them in the hallway.

 

Update: I learned from this morning's paper that the winner of the 5-gaited stake -- I have no idea what that is -- won $100,000. After the event, the owner said of his horse, CH Breaking News, "He's been a great horse for five years. He's smart. He's kind. He's been consistent. He's honest. He just keeps going."

 

I like the honest part.

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Taken on August 22, 2008