The White Pine County Fair and Horse Races return this year for a weekend of fun filled events for the entire family.
This years theme for the White Pine County Fair is “Home Grown Fun.” This theme reflects the pride in 70 continuous years of the Fair in White Pine County. Although the look and activities surrounding the fair have changed over the years, the proud tradition carries on.
The fair will be open for early registration on Thursday, Aug. 17 from 5-7 p.m. A variety of exhibits like cakes, crafts, leathercraft and many others will be on display.
Live entertainment by the Cheet Grass Brass Band and Plowed Under will be performing throughout the weekend. The White Pine Ranch Rodeo will be held on Friday, Aug. 18, beginning at 11 a.m. with Ranch Bronc Riding, Steer Stopping, and much more, and for the first time in White Pine, this rodeo will coincide with the horseraces.
Friday evening, the Ely Volunteer Fire Department will be hosting its annual Businessman and Rancher BBQ. Saturday after the last horse race, the Wild Horse Adoption event will take place following a brief demonstration of the horses. The White Pine Junior Livestock Show and Sale will take place on Sunday at 9 a.m. and10the last day of horse racing that will conclude the weekend of events.
The horse races have brought an additional day to racing this year. For the first time in several years, the races will begin on Friday with a post time of 3 p.m. Bob Bartlett, long time member of the Horse Race Board and now co-chairman, said “approximately 25 years ago, we did two weekends of racing, and never have we done three days like we are doing this year.”
Jim Bath, chairman of the White Pine Horse Race Commitee, said, “We have six races scheduled for Friday, 10 on Saturday and another six races for Sunday.”
There are more than 140 horses competing this weekend, with horse owners traveling from Idaho, Arizona, Wyoming and California, but the majority come from Utah, particularly because this track has just the right amount of consistency to it, and that means good racing for the horses.
Bath said, “The track is very well maintained, we have people go around and pick all the rocks off the track and we use a special groomer that is used on the track, making it not to soft, not to hard, but just right for the horses”.
It’s 7:30 a.m. and R. Mike Scudder, horse owner and trainer, is standing with a garden hose in his hand while one of his team members is walking a horse up to be placed on a”hot walker.”
But before that happens, Scudder sprays down each horse, cleaning off their hooves, and keeping them cooled down while he’s talking to each horse. Scudder has brought 12 horses with him this year, and is running nine in the races this weekend. He takes great pride in his horses as he talks about each ones characteristics, how long he’s had them, and how special they are to him.
Scudder brings up a particular horse, saying “this one is named, Another Bumper and he’s kinda my favorite, I’ve had him a long time, he’s won a lot of races for me.”
Scudder is very particular in the jockey’s that ride his horses, he been racing here in White Pine for the past t37 years. When asked what brings him back to White Pine each year, Scudder said, “ The people. I’ve always liked it here, we’re always treated well and the people here are fun.”