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      Saddled up for horse shows

      Riders are saddled up for the Tri County Horse Association's horse show at the Dickinson County Fairgrounds.

      What began as a one-day competition in 1983, with as little as 90 competitors, has grew into a two-day event, drawing in over 200 riders eager to get saddled up. Exhibitor Shelly Gunville has been involved since it began and canâ??t believe how much it's grown.

      â??You couldn't get it in one day. It was impossible to do it, so we split it into two days. We do all of our speed events on Saturday and halter and performance classes on Sunday,â?? says Shelly.

      She says the best competitors are ones that connect with their horses. The bond is vital to be a successful rider.

      â??When youâ??re competing, you need a horse that you click with. If you don't, you need to look for something else,â?? Shelly says.

      Today's event is all about speed, something 18-year-old Laura Gill canâ??t get enough of.

      â??I get a big thrill out of it. The adrenaline of just going fast itself and being able to control something that has a mind of its own,â?? says Laura.

      Sheâ??s been competing since she was six years old and has won numerous blue ribbons in her riding career.

      â??I have multiple grand champions and reserve grand champions,â?? Laura says.

      The top six riders receive points for each division, and at the end of the summer they are tallied and a grand champion is chosen.

      Saturday are speed events and Sunday are English and Western shows, all starting at 9 a.m.