Rider is veteran of many fairs

August 04, 1997


Staff Writer, Martinsburg

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - On Sunday, Amanda Jones, dressed in boots, blue jeans and a sleeveless shirt, brushed the gleaming gray coat of Diamond's Madam, a 4-year-old quarter horse that is one of three animals she has registered in the 50th Anniversary Berkeley County Youth Fair.

Tonight the 15-year-old Martinsburg girl will presumably be dressed in something a bit more delicate as she and several other young women compete for the title of Miss Berkeley County Youth Fair.

Despite her youth, Amanda is a veteran of seven county and state fairs and has garnered her share of awards.

"Here at the county youth fair, I've been grand champion or reserve champion several times," Amanda said as Diamond's Madam happily ate the garlands she had tacked up to decorate the animal's stall.


Other stalls throughout the horse barn were adorned with curtains, dream catchers and flowers by youths hoping to win the door decorating prize.

Amanda has also won four state fair titles in Western and English horsemanship. This year she didn't enter the English riding competition at the youth fair because of a conflict with her participation in the market beef and junior heifer competitions.

The Senior Western Competition has four categories: showmanship, where competitors lead their horses through a routine on foot; go as you please, a walking and trotting exercise; western pleasure, which includes walking, jogging and loping with the horse; and trail class.

In the last category, Amanda said, contestants work the animals through a series of obstacles from horseback, such as going through gates, over bridges and even getting the mail.

A 4-H and FFA member, Amanda has been working with ponies and horses since she was old enough to sit on one. "My first horse show was when I was 41/2 years old," she recalled.

Horses run in the family, so to speak. Her grandparents, Frank and Jeanetta Carper, own the Homestead Farm Equestrian Center,where the Hedgesville High School student spends much of her time.

"In the summer it takes like 12 hours a day," Amanda said. During the rest of the year, she's there from after school until dark.

Amanda will be on stage of the indoor arena tonight, vying for Miss Berkeley County Youth Fair. Last year she was first runner-up.

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