SKOWHEGAN — Brooke Shorey led Molly, a miniature palomino, by the halter and walked her outside the show ring, where she would compete against 20 horses from across Maine.

Shorey was not a bit nervous about taking part Sunday in the miniature horse show at the Skowhegan State Fair.

“They’re really fun,” Shorey, 13, of Oakland said of horse shows. “There’s not much to worry about. Just have fun.”

In a few moments, she would use a lead to walk and trot 13-year-old Molly into the pavilion and then they both would undergo the scrutiny of Mike McCarthy, who came from New York to judge the show.

Shorey ultimately won a third place ribbon in the showmanship category early in the event Sunday, and was to compete in several other categories, including halter, jumping, costume and obstacles.

Alauna Baker, 11, of China, left, stands with miniature horse, Kitty, and Baker’s step-sister, Brooke Shorey, 13, of Oakland, with Molly, before they competed Saturday in the Miniature Horse Show at Skowhegan State Fair in Skowhegan. Amy Calder/Morning Sentinel

Shorey’s stepsister, Alauna Baker, 11, of China also competed Sunday with 17-year-old Kitty, a pinto that often visits nursing homes and even goes into residents’ rooms, according to Tarie Sawyer, who owns both horses.


The owner of Fancy & Fun Stables in Winslow, Sawyer emceed Sunday’s show.

Baker said she takes part in shows with miniature horses, but rides bigger steeds.

“I just do walk, trot and canter right now,” she said, “but I’m looking for someone to do barrel race training with.”

Contestants’ family members and friends sat in bleachers on either end of the large pavilion, which was bedded with sawdust.

Heather Kinney of Cornville was watching her laughter, Lilly, 12, compete with her miniature horse, Maggie, 5.

“She’s doing as many shows as she can,” Heather Kinney said. “We purchased Maggie from Tarie (Sawyer) last year because there was such an incredible bond between them. They just click. It’s so much fun. She’s just the sweetest horse. We have four Belgian draft horses at home, Drafty Farms. We hope this year that we can kick off sleigh rides.”


Alauna Baker, 11, of China stands Sunday with her miniature horse, Kitty, as they compete in the miniature horse show at the Skowhegan State Fair. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

Kinney said her daughter, who won a second place Sunday, has competed in 10 shows and it has been a lot of fun.

“They’re off their cellphones,” Kinney she said of the youths. “This is real life.”

Linda Tibbetts of Athens, who was sitting in the front row, said her granddaughter, Amiya Tibbetts, 12, was competing with her horse, Later, and had won a third place.

“I think it’s fantastic,” Linda Tibbetts said of the show. “I love the little kids. Our granddaughter is showing for the first time. She has a new horse and she’s just so in love with her.”

A competitor runs her miniature horse through the jumping competition Sunday during the miniature horse show at the Skowhegan State Fair. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

The youngest contestant was Kellee Ouellette, 3, of New Vineyard, with her horse, Flicka. They won a second place in showmanship and a third place in halter. Her brother, Jacob Ouellette, 5, won a first place in stock type with his horse, Ginger.

While Sunday’s show would be the only miniature horse show to held at the fair this year, Sawyer said fairgoers could visit her miniature horses at the fair from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day at the Agway Pavilion, which is just beyond the coliseum, near the cow barns.

Sawyer said she will also have a show — “Fancy & Fun Miniature Horse & Pony Show” — on Sept. 17 and 18 at the Silver Spur Riding Club at 126 Quaker Road in Sidney. About 50 horses and ponies will be featured, she said.

“I do it for the kids,” she said.

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