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Riders compete in final day of county fair

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GOUVERNEUR — For as long as there has been a St. Lawrence County Fair, riders have come to compete in the annual open horse show.

About 50 riders participated Sunday on the final day of the Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair despite worries about the weather.

The show began in the rain at 9 a.m., but the skies cleared within the hour.

“We’re hoping for no rain for the rest of the day,” said organizer Anita M. Morrill.

Rain or shine, Mrs. Morrill said, the show would go on. Only thunder and lightning could stop it.

Contestants of all ages vied for blue ribbons in multiple categories, in both English and American classes.

“People love their horses, and once you get started it’s hard to give up,” Mrs. Morrill said.

Brittany M. Taylor, Ogdensburg, said she has already competed in about 20 horse shows this summer with her horse, Bebop N’ T.

“It’s an adrenaline rush,” she said. “You can’t wait to get in the ring and give it one more shot.”

Riding is a tradition, passed down through generations. Brooke E. Moreau, Massena, has been riding since she was a child. She and her daughters competed Sunday, riding Mrs. Moreau’s sister’s horse, Additional Expense.

“The St. Lawrence County Fair is always on our list of shows to hit,” she said.

“It’s not so much the horse shows I like,” Mrs. Moreau said. “It’s the horses. It teaches my kids responsibility.”

Madelyne C. Lawrence, 12, and Riley C. Burke, 9, both of Canton, rode their trainer’s horse, Dancer, in two different categories.

“My whole family has been riding my whole life,” Madelyne said.

Riley began riding because of her love of horses.

“I like the horses, and my trainer,” she said.

The show ran until about 3 p.m., with halter, pleasure and jumping events.

The carnival rides were open for the last-minute thrill seekers on the last day of the fair, and the festivities ended with a demolition derby at 3 p.m.

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