Photo courtesy James Selman

“It was a great fair, and if you didn’t come, you missed it,” said Lincoln County Fair chairwoman Jule Wadsworth.

This year’s fair, held last week in Panaca, had some other competition that Wadsworth admittedly felt kept the attendance numbers down.

“There was the Silver State Trailblazers’ AMA National Hare N’ Hound motorcycle race in Caliente, and this was also the last weekend before the start of the school year. All of that had something to do with it.”

She said usually the Hare N’ Hound racers come later in the season and didn’t know why the race was scheduled at the same time as the fair. Those two factors, Wadsworth thought, might have also had an impact on the number of exhibits being smaller this year.

“But those who did come to the fair loved it,” she said, “particularly the trick riders.”

The Riata Ranch Cowboy girls trick-riding team from California made their first appearance at the fair and put on an impressive show as part of the rodeo events. Wadsworth said they were invited because “one of our members had seen them perform at another rodeo and thought they would like to have them come perform at ours.”

Some who witnessed the performances said the team is of first-rate quality. “Everyone really liked that it was something different. The crowd went wild because those who know horse riding know how much practice, training, and skill it takes to do those things.”

Sarah Thompson, of the Riata girls, an internationally known trick-riding team, said they enjoyed coming to Panaca and the hospitality of the local people. “Those girls were super nice,” one person said. “Helped out with the Mutton Busting and Pee Wee rodeo, plus signing autographs, visiting, etc. Very outgoing, friendly, quality young women.”

Live music was provided Friday and Saturday evenings by the band Most Wanted from Cedar City. “We really like them,” Wadsworth said.