Horse Show Returns

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Alexander Smiths, 10, leaves the ring on his horse Indy after his class.(Erin Laughlin | For the Juneau Empire)

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Sonja Hendricksen, 31 admires her second place ribbon that she won with her horse Jetta after one of her Western style classes Sunday, August 27, 2017. (Erin Laughlin | For the Juneau Empire)

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Cynthia Gordon Nickerson, 55, the only rider in her class shows Caledonia Sunday, August 27, 2017. (Erin Laughlin | For the Juneau Empire)

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Chava Lee, Ring Steward, left, directs riders Dr. Susan Hunter-Joerns, 73, and Laura Baker, 58, to their positions before the start of one of their Western style classes.(Erin Laughlin | For the Juneau Empire)

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Show Judge Lisa Gardener, 58, inspects rider and horse during the Fireweed Classic Sunday, August 27, 2017. (Erin Laughlin | For the Juneau Empire)

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Wendy Smiths, 40, rides Maraquise in a trot during a English style class Saturday, August 26, 2017. (Erin Laughlin | For the Juneau Empire)

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From left, Wendy Smiths, 40, Dr. Susan Hunter-Joerns, 73, and Katina Holmberg, 41, await the results of their class with Ring Steward, Leah Kadush. (Erin Laughlin | For the Juneau Empire)

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Bella Smith, 11, after a full day of competing on different horse, is happy to be by her best friend Lexi, who was unable to show due to an injury. (Erin Laughlin | For the Juneau Empire)

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Cynthia Gordon Nickerson, 55, is all smiles with her horse Caledonia, exiting the ring after one of her English style classes. (Erin Laughlin | For the Juneau Empire)

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Alexander Smiths, 10, watches his mother Wendy Smiths, 40, compete in an English style class Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017. (Erin Laughlin | For the Juneau Empire)

Description

For Bella Smith, Fairweather Equitation Center is a home away from home. The 11-year-old spends three-plus hours a day there, happily cleaning the stall that belongs to her 1,500-pound best friend Tyia.

It is a labor of love, and Smith puts all those hours in for a purpose.

“I really want to be able to jump well,” she said, watching other riders from outside the ring on Saturday.

On Saturday and Sunday, the equitation center hosted the Fireweed Classic Horse Show after a 10-year break. A lack of community interest and funding caused the decade-long hiatus, but this weekend, it was as if it had never stopped at all.

Read the rest of the story here.

Photos by Erin Laughlin | For the Juneau Empire

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