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Horses hog the show at ChambersFest Pet Parade

July 20, 2004|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - If any of the creatures at the ChambersFest Pet Parade had a lock on a prize Monday evening, it was a beauty of a beast of burden named Daisy.

"She was an Amish plow horse," Nina Hill, president of the board of directors of the Franklin County Therapeutic Riding Center, said of the gentle 1,800-pound animal. Daisy, decked out in beachwear for the event, won the Biggest Pet prize at the parade.

The horse now pulls a carriage or gives rides to handicapped people who use the center on Franklin Farm Lane, Hill said.

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Weighing about 1,650 pounds less than Daisy was the Best of Show winner, a miniature horse named Phantom who stands just 28 inches tall, according to her owner, Melissa Johns of Fayetteville, Pa.

Getting that horse to the parade presented no logistical problems for Johns, who said Phantom often rides in the back of her Subaru Outback.

"It was just something I threw together real quick," Johns said of Phantom's red, white and blue outfit. Shown by Taylor Hicks of Waynesboro, Pa., Phantom grazed on the grass of the downtown park beside United Towers before the competition.

Another equine attraction at the parade was the opportunity for children to ride a horse brought by members of the VisionQuest Madalyn Program. Shannon Misner, assistant wrangler for the program, said VisionQuest students are taught discipline and responsibility through riding, feeding and caring for the animals.

Resembling the Geico gecko, the winner of the Most Unusual Pet prize went to "Mr. Tiki, the Hawaiian Anole," shown by Colyn Parham of Chambersburg. Mr. Tiki arrived in a terrarium mounted on a wagon.

Parham said he named the anole for a tropical cocktail cup in which the lizard likes to lounge.

The parade's Smallest Pet had relatively little to worry about in the judging. It was a bullfrog tadpole brought by Rachel Peterson of Greencastle, Pa., according to Melissa Knepper of the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce.

There were 41 entries in the pet parade, with dogs making up the majority of contestants, Knepper said. First-, second- and third-place prizes were awarded in a number of categories, she said.

Many of the canines dressed up for the event.

Naomi Plasterer of Chambersburg dressed Gracie, a Pomeranian, as a cowgirl. Marie Bowers of Chambersburg dressed her English bulldogs Britta and Emma as a lifeguard and a bather with an inner tube, respectively.

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