Dogs, Highland cattle star in Elbert County fair opener

Highland cattle show moved to Kiowa from usual Boulder location

Chancy J. Gatlin-Anderson
Special to Colorado Community Media
Posted 8/9/21

The Elbert County Fair officially kicked off early July 31 with the 4-H Dog Show and the Mountain States Highland Cattle Show. The 4-H Dog Show began bright and early at 8 a.m. at the Elbert County …

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Dogs, Highland cattle star in Elbert County fair opener

Highland cattle show moved to Kiowa from usual Boulder location

Posted

The Elbert County Fair officially kicked off early July 31 with the 4-H Dog Show and the Mountain States Highland Cattle Show.

The 4-H Dog Show began bright and early at 8 a.m. at the Elbert County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall. Thirty exhibitors ages 8 through 18 proudly presented their dogs in showmanship, obedience and rally competitions. Most of those involved in the 4-H Dog Project are girls, with only five boys competing this year.

The presenters begin in January each year with the 4-H Dog Project. They learn how to properly handle the dog for each competition type, all while building a stronger bond with their dog. “It is really exciting to see how the kids and the dogs grow together,” said Sarah Lindauer, leader of the Elbert County 4-H Dog Project. “The kids love it!”

Not only do the competitors and their companions form strong bonds through training, the Elbert County 4-H dog showing community as whole is also thriving. “I have so many friends I’ve met through the dog world,” said showmanship judge Tracy Lee. “The community is great and the people are awesome.” As an adult, Lee has been involved in the 4-H community for nearly 13 years.

“I love how small the Elbert County 4-H is,” said Clara Lindauer, an 18-year-old competitor who has been involved for over 10 years. “I get to know everybody and the community here is amazing.” Throughout the competition, Clara showed two of her canine companions, Louis and Finnick. Finnick is a beautiful Irish setter that Clara presented in the showmanship competition. “I definitely like Showmanship the best!”

The four winners in each of the categories are eligible to compete at the State Fair in Pueblo, Colorado between Aug. 27 and Sept. 6.

The Mountain States Highland Cattle Annual Point Show began at 10 a.m. on July 31 and included 32 different categories for competition. Eight of the categories were for the Junior Highland Association sponsored by Frank Silva and John and Tina Keep.

The annual show, which typically takes place in Boulder, was held for the first time in Kiowa at the Horse Pavilion of the Elbert County Fairgrounds. Some competitors expressed their hopes that the show would return to the Elbert County Fair in future years.

Competitors came from all over Colorado to present their Highland cattle. Donald Johnston, new to the competition circuit, traveled from Grover to show his multiple Scottish Highlands. Johnston of 11m Ranch was very excited to present in his second cattle show, hoping to compete in three or four per year moving forward. “I love working with the cattle,” said Johnston. “They scare you because of the horns but when you get to know them, you see they are so docile.”

The fair concluded Aug. 8. Results for events will be available on the fair website in the coming weeks at elbertcountyfair.com.

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