PAWNEE CITY – The biggest cheer from the crowd at the Pawnee County Fair’s 4-H horse speed events Wednesday came when Hallye Friedly tossed her flag into a can of sand like a dart while her horse kept her stride past the flag for a victory.

Friedly rode a pinto mare named Mattie, who has been with the family for 20 years. Hallye remembers her first ride.

Friedly: “We were in a cornfield after harvest and a cornstalk blew up her leg and she freaked out. That was actually the first time I rode her.”

 

Her time of 11.45 seconds was faster than sister Morgann and three times faster than 15-year-old DeLayne Currie.

 

Friedly:  “I just remember thinking when I first went to grab it that I needed to reach out far because I didn’t know how close we were actually.”

Currie, a rodeo competitor from Vesta, rode her paint quarter horse Cowboy. She has had him since she was 10.

Currie: “Since he’s good at barrels, my favorite race since I go to rodeos is barrels. Poles aren’t our strongest suit, but this is the only time we get the fun races – the different patterns and stuff.

It is a learning process for both me and him.”

DeLayne outpaced Hallye by two seconds to win the barrel race. She won the pole race after penalties added four seconds to Hallye’s time and she had the edge in the stake race.

Currie: “I feel proud since I haven’t been going to rodeos lately, I’m feeling very accomplished with my horse and trying to get him where he is supposed to be when it’s time.”

When asked who is the fastest horseman in Pawnee County, Currie said many might call it a tie.

Currie: “It just depends on the day and how it goes. We both have our off days, but I think sometimes it’s him and sometimes it’s her. It just depends on the day and how we work together and how hot it is. It just all depends on … but, overall, I don’t know, I think it’s me.”

Currie showed the fair’s champion halter gelding and Kyndall Sextro of Seneca, Kan., was the top horse showman.

Hallye’s sister Morgann was the reserve showman champion, but Hallye says the speed events are where the fun is.

Friedly: “I think there are horses that like to run and then there’s others that say the heck with it and don’t want anything to do with it. She’s one that likes to run.”

Hallye and Mattie won the speed-exhibition keyhole race in a time of 11.33.