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4-H Dog Show & Agility
Barton County Fair opens Wednesday
4-Her Nicole and her dog Loki go through the agility course Saturday at the Barton County 4-H Dog Show. The 4-H dog program includes: Showmanship, Obedience, Agility and Rally Obedience. - photo by photos by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

Early events for the Barton County Fair continued Saturday with the 4-H dog show, obedience and agility contests.
In the agility contest, 4-Hers put their dogs through a course that required the animals to jump over hurdles, run through tunnels, walk up ramps and “stay” on a platform for several seconds. They are scored on the time it takes to complete the course, with points deducted for errors.
Although agility courses all have similar features, each one is different, 4-H Extension Agent Berny Unruh said.
“The judge sets the course,” Unruh said, noting this year’s course appeared to be “a little more complicated than last year.”
The participants need to win a purple ribbon to qualify for the Kansas State Fair. In addition to Saturday’s event, they have had opportunities to qualify at spring shows in venues such as Wichita, Salina and Kingman.
When the fair gets into full swing this week, farm animals will be in the spotlight. But Unruh said the 4-H dog club is also a great way to learn about animal care.
“I honestly think the dog show is one of the most disciplined projects you can have,” she said. To socialize their dogs and teach the animals obedience, 4-Hers are required to bring them to at least eight training sessions during the year. However, many of the children attended double or triple that number of sessions.

Barton County Fair
This was the second “pre-fair” event; last week the 4-H Clothing, Fiber Arts & Fashion Revue was held at Trinity Lutheran Church. Set-up for the fair starts Monday evening at the Expo grounds west of Great Bend, and opening day is Wednesday, July 5.
A special section in the July 2 Great Bend Tribune has a schedule of events.