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Locals earn success at 2008 Md. State Fair

October 17, 2008|By JANET HEIM

The 2008 Maryland State Fair in Timonium, Md., will be one that Tara Jacques of Smithsburg and Marie Grossnickle of Myersville, Md., will always remember. Both were successful in several classes of competition.

Tara and her Paint Horse gelding, Styled By Deuce (nicknamed Stretch), won the Senior Western Command class in a fight to the finish. This is the first year she's ridden this horse at the state fair and said their personalities are a good match, making them a good team.

Tara, 15, the daughter of Brian and Melody Jacques of Smithsburg, was one of 17 entries. As judges stated commands, riders and their horses were eliminated when commands were not followed correctly or quickly enough.

The field was narrowed to two local riders. The other rider was Marie Grossnickle, 17, with her Quarter Horse, An Obvious Playgirl.

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The judge tried a number of commands without elimination, then called for a counter canter, a harder command, which Stretch followed right away.

Tara and Stretch also won Senior Grooming and Showmanship, Senior Stock Seat and Senior Champion Showmanship, as well as other awards.

Tara, a sophomore at Smithsburg High School, has a twin sister, Demi, who also shows horses. Tara said she has been riding off and on since she was about 5 years old.

"In the beginning, I was really shocked because I did so well," Tara said. "I'm excited to go back next year."

In the Senior Western Pleasure, it was Tara and Marie again in the two top spots, this time with Marie taking first place. Marie and An Obvious Playgirl also finished first in Mare, 3 years and over, with foal, among other finish awards.

This was her first year competing at the Maryland State Fair, Marie said.

Marie also competed with Zips True Glory, a yearling, with success. They finished first in both Junior Champion & Reserve and 2-year-old, filly and gelding.

She said the biggest thrill was being named Grand Champion in those three classes.

"I was pretty excited," said Marie, who also plans to compete next year.

Marie, a 2008 graduate of Middletown High School, is the daughter of Hazel and Larry Grossnickle. She gives riding lessons and trains horses.

Washington County received an award for best barn management and decorations, according to Melody Jacques.

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