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With a few weeks left until the Auglaize County Fair, a local 4-H group held a roping clinic to get some practice before the big event.
The Horse and Pony Pioneers 4-H Club hosted a roping seminar at the fairgrounds on Sunday, and a certified roping judge and a county roping program organizer helped demonstrate the basics of roping for the participants in attendance.
“I try to teach them that a rope is their friend,” Auglaize County roping competition judge Tom Baldwin said, “and not their enemy.”
Baldwin says he tells the kids that roping should become second nature to them.
Jenna Fortman, of Waynesfield and an Auglaize County roping program organizer, also demonstrated roping techniques and helped teach the students how to rope.
“The program has grown,” Fortman said. “Roping altogether has grown.”
Fortman noted that the roping program in the county has doubled in size since it’s beginning in 2001, and Fortman is pleased with the growing number of participants and says the program is doing well.
During the clinic, Fortman showed the different types of ropes, the parts of the rope and how to practice roping.
Horse and Pony Pioneer 4-H Club President Bridget Wessel put together the clinic, as she is the roping clinic chairperson for the group.
Wessel also helped the students learn the basics, and practice on “dummies.”
“I put this together so the kids can learn from other people besides me and my mom,” Wessel said.
Wessel’s mother, Chris, is the adviser for the 4-H Club.
Wessel explained that there are different competitions at the fair that deal with roping — ground roping and moving dummy roping.
Wessel noted that they were unable to host the clinic last year because of weather, but had held it in prior years.
“We wanted to have something different,” Wessel said, “and host a clinic where they could practice for the fair.”