Exhibitors channel pioneers at fair

By Tony Gutierrez: CNJ staff writer

Even horses need pedicures.

Placing the foot of his horse on a stand, Dusty Leatherwood clipped its hoof with oversized nail clippers, and smoothed the edges with a foot-long metal file.

Shoenail never even whinnied.

A professional farrier, Leatherwood said as long as he was careful, the horse would not feel a thing as he pounded nails into the hoof to hold a horseshoe in place.

The hoof, Leatherwood explained during a horseshoeing demonstration Wednesday at the Curry County Fair’s Pioneer Village, is like a human fingernail.

“It’s interesting to see that doesn’t hurt them,” said Clovis High School junior Ryan Telles-Hinch, a member of the school’s Air Force Junior ROTC who was helping guide fairgoers in Pioneer Village for community service hours.

This is Pioneer Village’s first year at the fair. Organizers decorated the city’s oldest house and brought in demonstrations of weaving, soap-making and horseshoeing to educate the community about how life was at the turn of the 20th century.

“You can walk through the house and they (organizers) can explain how everything in there works,” Telles-Hinch said. “I think it’s cool to see how the things we think are necessities to have that they lived without and were just fine.”

Leatherwood shoed his horse and another horse, Chic, for the demonstration. Chic injured the heel of his front hooves and needed a type of horseshoe that is shaped in a full circle rather than a “U” for support.

“When you’ve been doing this for 25 years, it gets to where you can just tell,” Leatherwood said on the type of shoe to use.

Coleta Lary of Melrose showed fairgoers how to make soap and handed out a recipe that included lye, water, vegetable shortening and oils.

“This anybody will use because it’s all organic,” Lary joked.

After mixing the soap until it had the consistency of mashed potatoes, Lary added some oils for fragrance and coffee grains and poured it into a mold, letting it sit for 24 hours.

“We all use it as an educational tool,” said Ginger Beck, a member of one of the local clubs that helped organize the village. “It’s going to teach our youngsters and older people how it was done. If they can touch it, feel it, experience what it does, it’s a lasting memory.”

Fair schedule
Today — Special Needs Day
Friday — 4-H/FFA Day
Saturday — Youth and Pioneer Day

10 a.m. — Curry County Bred Lamb Show, grass arena
10 a.m. – 10 p.m. — Agriculture and Home Arts exhibits open
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. — Special Needs Day activities
11 a.m. — Extreme Canines Show, grass show ring
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. — Special Needs Citizens Lunch, indoor pavilion
Noon — All poultry must be out of Poultry and Rabbit Barn
3 p.m. — Junior Breeding Cattle Show, Kevin Roberts Show Arena
4 – 10 p.m. — Commercial exhibits open
5 p.m. – Midnight — Carnival Open. Thrifty Nickel Reader Appreciation Night, three wristbands for $40 with coupon from the Thrifty Nickel. Without coupon, wristbands $25.
5 p.m. — Junior Market Steer Show, Kevin Roberts Show Arena
6 p.m. — Extreme Canines Show, grass show ring
6:30 p.m. — Shawn Gregory, midway area
7 p.m. — Ken Whitener, food court dance area
7 p.m. — Youth Pet Show, auxiliary gate
7 p.m. — Demolition Derby, Mounted Patrol Arena
7:30 p.m. — Shawn Gregory, midway area
8 p.m. — Group Eclipse, entertainment area
8 p.m. — Extreme Canines Show, grass show ring
8:30 p.m. — Shawn Gregory, midway area
9 p.m. — Grupo Vida Concert, entertainment area
9 p.m. — Ken Whitener, food court dance area
10 p.m. — Extreme Canines Show, grass show ring