By ELISE McKEOWN SKOLNICK
It might not be the way every mother would choose to spend Mother’s Day, but those at the Penn-Ohio Horseman’s Association Double Point Open Horse Show didn’t seem to mind.
“I love to watch them compete,” said Anna Ailes of Brimfield. “I love to watch how much fun they’re having. And it’s a good lesson on hard work, dedication.”
Anna’s daughters, Ryleigh, 15, and Camryn, 12, participated in the competition Sunday at the Canfield Fairgrounds. They have attended the annual event for two years, Anna said.
“We know most of the people here,” she said. “So it’s always fun to see friends and have friendly competition.”
Anna, a former rider, spends about 15 weekends a summer traveling with her daughters to various competitions.
“It’s fun. We have a good time,” she said.
Ryleigh has competed for six years. “It’s a lot of work,” she acknowledged. But, she said, it’s fun, so it’s worth it. She competed Sunday in saddle seat and English classes with her horse, Harlem Bay, a Half-Arabian national show horse.
“I just like working with horses and animals,” Camryn said. She also likes competing.
Winning is fun, she noted, but it’s not the reason she competes.
“It shows the horse that he can trust you, and it’s really fun,” she said.
Owning a horse is a lot of work, she said. Stalls need to be cleaned, and the horses need to be brushed. She competed in hunt seat and halter classes at the Penn-Ohio competition on her horse named Dreamer, also a Half-Arabian national show horse.
Cindy Kingston of Canfield showed her mother’s registered miniature horse, Gfrroyal Snazzy Sue, in the competition. She participated in driving and halter classes with the horse. The driving class is her favorite.
“Usually, there’s more competition,” she said. Winning means more to her when there are more entries, she explained.
She said she has attended the Penn-Ohio competition for a long time. Her 4-H club ran the food booth for about 20 years. “It’s in our blood,” she said. “This is what I wanted to do for Mother’s Day.”
Her mother, Ella Carrera of Berlin Center, said it’s fun to watch her daughter compete.
The Penn-Ohio Horseman’s Association competition is an open-breed horse show annually on Mother’s Day. This year’s competition consisted of 69 classes. About 150 people competed.