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Castleberry Fairs

Animals take center stage at the fair

Amanda Ferris and her oxen, Spark and Red, salute Amanda's brother Josh, who is serving in the Air Force. (Photo by Erin Plummer) (click for larger version)
October 10, 2018
SANDWICH — From horses weighing in at several hundred pounds and oxen to the smallest bunnies and chickens, there were animal competitions throughout the weekend that also showed their human companions' skills.

Animal competitions were a major draw of the fair with people of all ages showing their experience with animals.

In the Horse Pull on Sunday Mike Main of Rochester worked with two 35-year-old Percheron horses named Dick and King.

Main said he got the horses ready for competition by driving them around the farm, saying they all work to make hay.

He has been coming to the fair for more than 20 years.

"Just a good old country fair," Main said. "Been coming here for years, and enjoy it. Good people, good competition."

Amanda Ferris of Braintree, Vt. worked with her oxen Spark and Red in competitions such a the Working Steer and 4-H competitions. In the parade the 15-year-old put a banner on her oxen saluting her brother Josh Ferris, who serves in the Air Force.

She said as the theme of this year's parade was "Support Our Troops," she wanted to do something for her brother.

This was her third year at the Sandwich Fair.

"I like that it's kind of small," she said.

She said she also likes its focus on agriculture.

The Merrimack County 4-H Swine Club showed a number of pigs, from large adults to small piglets. Hayden Lardner of Loudon gave a presentation on pigs and the work of 4-H with his pig Buttercup, who came from his family farm Dreamtimes Farm. Buttercup is a 560 pound pig who has three litters. Four of the Gardner's pigs at the fair were Buttercup's children.

Gardner, 15, said 4-H aims to put members in contact with the public to give information on what they do.

"People ask a lot of questions about her," Gardner said.

Gardner started with 4-H seven years ago and did his first Sandwich Fair that same year.

"I like the community service," Gardner said. "You make a lot of lifelong friends here at the fair."

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