Doggone Fun At The County Fair

FOCUS ON PETS

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The Northern Gila County Fair is Sept. 7, 8 and 9.

We are so fortunate to have this great annual event right here in the Rim Country. Whether you participate or just enjoy wandering around, take the whole family and enjoy the fair.

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Dogs of all sizes and ages, along with handlers of all sizes and ages, are invited to take part in Doggie Fun Day at the Northern Gila County Fair on Saturday, Sept. 8. Registration is at 9 a.m.

While most of the events are at the Payson Event Center, the exhibits are at the Tonto Apache Tribe Exhibit Hall across highway 87, behind the casino.

Events at this year's fair include 4-H and FFA livestock shows, 4-H horse show, livestock auction, open horse show, a demolition derby, doggie fun day and many other events.

Exhibits include floriculture, homemaking arts, canning, hobbies and handicrafts, fine arts photography and school exhibits.

Much time and effort goes in to putting on a fair. The event would not happen without large numbers of volunteers.

4-H kids and FFA young people work hard all year raising an animal while learning about feeding, caring for and exhibiting their animals.

We need to get out there and support and encourage their efforts.

Enter the fair

There is still time to enter your favorite photograph or your prize rabbit.

Entries for exhibits at the Tonto Apache Tribe Exhibit Hall will be accepted between noon and 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 5.

Livestock, rabbit and bird exhibit entries will be accepted between noon and 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 5.

Judging will take place on Thursday, Sept. 6.

All exhibits will be open to the public beginning at 8 a.m. Friday, Sept. 7.

Anyone interested in entering this year's fair should pick up a fair book and entry tags which are available at the Parks and Recreation office at Green Valley Park and at the Payson and Pine libraries.

All registration information and schedules are in the book. There are no entry fees for any fair event. A complete schedule of fair events will be in the Payson Roundup.

The Northern Gila County Fair Committee extends a welcome to all supporters, exhibitors and visitors to this year's fair. They continue," We hope that you will enjoy the fair as a family. We strive to honor the rich history of our communities and the individuals and families who created this history."

A fair is such a wonderful tradition in small communities. Get out there and enjoy it.

If you don't take part, stop by to see all the hard work of our children and adults and visit with them. They love to show off their projects.

Fair is fun for dogs

Doggie Fun Day at the fair is Saturday, Sept. 8.

Bring your dogs to the Multi Media Center -- the big, white tent at the Payson Event Center, for a day of playing, practicing and learning.

Registration is at 9 a.m.

From 10 a.m. to noon, there will be short training sessions in basic obedience, rally, agility and musical freestyle/group exercises to music.

Beginning at 1 p.m., there will be demonstrations and judging to show off what you have learned.

There will be lots of prizes and ribbons. Activities will be divided into appropriate age groups. All ages are invited to participate.

All dogs must have a plain collar and four- to six-foot leash and they should be under the control of the handler. No retractable leashes. No aggressive or unruly dogs please.

For more information, call Dale at 928 468-8245 or me, Christy, at 928 476-2239.

DOGS COMPETE

Rally

Rally is an event in which dogs and their handlers navigate through a course stopping only to follow the commands on the course cards, which include such things as sits and downs, right and left turns, stand and sequences of these activities. Dogs earn points for correctly performing the instruction on the sign.

Obedience

Obedience demonstrates teamwork between dog and handler. In beginning obedience, dogs learn basic good manners by walking on a leash beside their owners and responding to various voice commands such as sit, stay and come when called. Also, dogs will be evaluated as to their grooming and general condition.

Agility

Agility is a competitive sport in which the handler guides the dog through a series of obstacles. There will be jumps to go over, hoops to jump through and weave poles to go around. Dogs generally love this event and it provides great exercise.

Musical freestyle

Musical Freestyle involves using a variety of obedience moves and spins, twists and circles while moving to music. This event requires great communication between dog and handler. A group routine has several dog and handler teams working together, much like a drill team.

Each dog and handler team will have the opportunity to try each of these activities and receive some basic instruction. Participants will be shown how to teach their dogs all of these skills using positive motivation, including clickers and tasty food treats. Through these training session, the dogs will be working their way to qualifying for the Canine Good Citizen test, which will be offered during Dog Day in the Park on Saturday, October 20.

Hopefully, all participants will stay for the afternoon demonstrations and judging which will begin at 1 p.m. Grab a lunch from one of the many food vendors.

Be sure to bring water and a bowl for your dog and cleanup bags. Tasty treats will be provided for training. If you use a clicker, bring it.

Come to the Fair.

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