August 15, 2022

The dog and cat shows take center stage for the start of the Jasper County Fair

Kicking off the county fair

The first day of the Jasper County Fair was for the cats and dogs, at least the start of it. The cat and dog shows kicked off the fair with the furry friends taking center stage and showing off their skills.

The canines started with obedience skills, showing how they could listen to commands such as sit and stay from their exhibitor. From there, the dogs took on the agility course that featured tubes to run through and bridges to cross. The dogs, big and small, were a crowd favorite flashing their slobbery smiles while in the ring.

Brothers Mason and Kyler Ricks of the Jasper County Farm Hands 4-H group showed their two Shepadoodle dogs, Maui and Kona, who are also brothers. It was their first year showing and the pairs were happy with how it went.

“There was a couple of days of combing them,” Kyler said. “I had to do Kona’s ears a lot because they would get messed up and I would have to do it again and again.”

The brothers went to training classes to teach the pups how to sit without pulling on the leash and learn to walk with commands. The dogs did a great job in the ring with the commands, even staying while the boys walked around the ring.

Abigail Ver Ploeg of the Killduff Hotshots also showed her dog, Thelma Lou, a black and tan coon hound, for the first time this year. The pair trained together almost every day in preparation for the fair contest.

“There are 10 classes here and the fairgrounds that we attended and then they encouraged us to practice everyday at home,” Ver Ploeg said. “After every class we would drive through Culvers and she would get a pup cup.”

All of the work paid off and Thelma Lou showed off her skills in the ring both in the obedience and agility competitions.

“I could not be prouder of her, I am very happy,” Ver Ploeg said.

Not to be outdone, the cats were also on display, but maybe weren’t as happy about being at the fair as their dog counterparts. Though they may have been clinging to their owners and letting out a few helpless “meows,” the cats showed their good side while being judged.

At her first cat show, Bella and her owner Rylee DeHaai also of the Killduff Hotshots, took home the top prize in front of a stand full of spectators. To prepare for the show, Bella got some pampering to get her ready for the stage.

“I brushed her and clipped back claws, along with the regular things of feeding her and playing with her,” Rylee said.

As the dogs and cats head home after their big days, the rest of the fairgrounds begin to fill in with animals that will call the stables and pins their home for the week. Each day, a different class of animals will take to the show ring and continue the long-held traditions that are the county fair.

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or