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Farm friends fascinate fair-goers

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The Budweiser Clydesdales are available to be viewed at the Los Angeles County Fair including an appearance with the Budweiser wagon and parade at various times throughout the fair. The fair also features farm animals such as pigs, cows, sheep and more. / photo by Maydeen Merino

The Budweiser Clydesdales are available to be viewed at the Los Angeles County Fair including an appearance with the Budweiser wagon and parade at various times throughout the fair. The fair also features farm animals such as pigs, cows, sheep and more. / photo by Maydeen Merino

Savannah Dingman
Assistant Editor

Los Angeles County Fair guests moseyed their way through the farm and garden area in the Fairplex to see animal-related exhibits, including stage shows from the fair’s own cowboy, Sky Shivers.

Guests can see up to 400 animals, including sheep, goats, horses, and pigs, just to name a few. The fair provided an array of activities for animal lovers to choose from: pig races, a petting barn or even watching cows being milked.

The animals all arrived two days before the fair opened but, luckily, about 80% of animals did not have to travel far as they live at Cal Poly Pomona during the remainder of the year.

However, the animals in the nursery were brought from Oklahoma, according to Arturo Gomez Molina, a Fairplex spokesperson and University of La Verne graduate.

“[Animals] give birth on their way to the fair, while others are born during the fair,” Gomez Molina said. “This past Friday and Saturday we had two sheep and one calf born.”

The nursery barn was home to all of the pregnant sheep, as well as the newborns, whom are less than two weeks old.

Los Angeles County Fair wrangler Sky Shivers narrated as one sheep was in labor, while curious fair-goers gathered around the nursing pen.

“I’m here to help anytime anything with four legs is pregnant,” Shivers said.

One on-looker asked how many babies she appeared to be pregnant with.

“I can tell by looking at her, and my many years of experience, that I have no idea,” he said.

Shivers opened this animal learning exhibit 18 years ago with the help of his wife, and has been on the farm milking cows since he was about 2 years old.

While Shivers informed guests to stay silent during the birth, over at the barnyard racetrack Cowboy Glenn had guests cheering as loud as they could to ensure the animals raced their way around the track. Before the racing, Glenn sectioned off the crowd, designating them to a color, and the fans became increasingly competitive as they cheered on their animal.

Fans jumped to their feet as the pigs zipped around the corner and watched in amusement during a race between four sheep.

One lucky crowd member, Sophia Franco, 8, was chosen by Glenn to sound off the cowbell that began every race.

“My favorite racer was anyone running for the color green,” Franco said. “I was excited for the animals because they got to run around and have fun.”

The farm and garden area was not the only place fair-goers could interact with farm animals. The famous Budweiser Clydesdales were also on the fairgrounds.

These horses are most commonly known for their appearance in promotional campaigns and commercials, and have been showing at the Los Angeles County Fair for several decades.

While the majority of their day is spent eating, they also take part in a daily show at the fair.

“[Budweiser] has had the Clydesdales since the 1930s. They were gifted to August A. Busch Sr. to commemorate prohibition,” Mehgan Yunker, a Budweiser spokesperson, said. “From there they became a national icon synonymous with the beer.”

The Los Angeles County Fair runs through Sept. 22.

Savannah Dingman can be reached at savannah.dingman@laverne.edu.

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One Response to Farm friends fascinate fair-goers

  1. JD September 13, 2019 at 11:29 am #

    Good job Savannah, well written !

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