Rebekah Thompson, 9, Gypsum, pets a donkey Thursday morning at the petting zoo at the Tri Rivers Fair. (photo by Tom Dorsey / Salina Journal) | Buy Journal Photos


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Myriah Jensen, 16, Gypsum, feeds her lamb electrolytes Thursday morning to keep it hydrated. Myriah is a member of the Gypsul Valley 4-H Club. (photo by Tom Dorsey / Salina Journal)

Elany Edgerton, 14, of Brookville, and her cat, Pat, wait Thursday afternoon to particpate in the 4-H Cat and Hand Pet Show at the Tri Rivers Fair. Elany is a member of the Cardinal 4-H Club. (photo by Tom Dorsey / Salina Journal)

Jacob Lemaster (photo by Tom Dorsey / Salina Journal)

Veronica Marcinowski (photo by Tom Dorsey / Salina Journal)

Karla Arpin (photo by Tom Dorsey / Salina Journal)

Furry friends

By CHRIS HUNTER Salina Journal

Salina’s string of 100-degree days was broken Thursday, but it still was plenty hot enough that some of the animals at the Tri Rivers Fair needed extra attention.

“This one is getting sucked in (becoming thinner) because he has not been drinking enough,” Myriah Jensen, 16, of Gypsum, said about a lamb she was giving a yellow liquid to before a showing.

“My lambs don’t like the water from here so I mix the water with a powder-like substance like Gatorade to keep them hydrated,” Jensen said. “It is Gatorade for lambs.”

Jensen, a member of the Gypsum Valley 4-H Club, brought five lambs to the fair, all of which were born in January or February.

“The Tri Rivers Fair is a small fair, but 4-H kids learn so much from just coming to the fair, even if they are not showing anything,” Jensen said.

Thursday was the second day of the four-day fair in Kenwood Park. Today’s highlights include 4-H performing arts, the carnival and the demolition derby at 8 p.m. There’s also a wide range of 4-H events, beginning at 7:30 a.m.

Jensen, who has been showing sheep for 10 years, said she likes the competition.

“It is my forte, I really enjoy showing animals,” she said. “By-passers always want to pet them.”

If petting animals is what you want, the fair offers that at the petting zoo.

“The 4-H is doing stuff with the animals and the kids want to pet them,” said Jacob Lemaster, 17, a student at Salina Central High School and among those working at the petting zoo. “These animals are pretty tame and it allows them to get a close up.”

Lemaster, who works on a farm, said the animals were supplied by his teacher, Greg Anderes.

Rebekah Thompson, 9, said she tries to attend the petting zoo each year and likes to feed the animals.

“I like the donkey because he is really friendly and lets me pet him,” Thompson said.

The animals also were an attraction for the children with Salina’s Head Start program.

“We try to come out here each year with our Head Start program,” said Veronica Marcinowski. “Some of the kids have never seen anything like a farm animal so they are scared. Once we get past everything, they are fine.”

Tell us about your cat

Among the 4-H kids who were showing animals Thursday was Elany Edgerton, 14, of Brookville, and the Cardinal 4-H club. She was competing in the “cat and hand pet” show with Pat, her 3-year-old calico, domestic short-hair.

Competitors brought their cats to a table so judges could see if the cats were being held correctly, how they behaved with their owner and their physical characteristics.

“They get judged on the shape of their head, weight and how fit they are,” said Karla Arpin, who has been involved in the cat contest with her daughter for 14 years. “The also get judged on showmanship, which is based on how well the contestant shows their cat and talks with the judge on their knowledge of cats.”

Arpin said a lot of the cats are 2 to 3 years old, but she’s seen them from 4 months to 17 years. Arpin’s daughter was showing a 2-year-old domestic long-hair cat named Yote

“It is usually their family pet that they bring, because it is their favorite cat,” Arpin said.

Edgerton said she’s entered Pat before, but never with much success.

“I like to see how she reacts each year,” Edgerton said. “She attacked me last year. We had family at our house and she hid under our bed the entire night.”

nReporter Chris Hunter can be reached at 822-1422 or by e-mail at [email protected].

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