For many people, county fairs are all about a good time, but there's a lot of learning and growing that happens there as well. Take for example the special needs equestrian riders who took center stage on Sunday. One of those riders was Jenna Welly.
Born with multiple birth defects, including Ectodermal Dysplasia, doctors said Jenna Welly would never be able to walk. Jenna is now a healthy 9 year old who enjoys taking care of her pony named Dani, and riding horses with group members from Challenged Champions Equestrian Therapy.
Jenna and her brother Austin spend a lot of time training and taking care of their animals--hard work that pays off at the fair.
Sunday, Jenna was among dozens of special needs riders who took first place, and received a ribbon and a trophy. Jenna's therapeutic trainer, Laura Durliat, admires each of her riders, and is thankful for the opportunity that the Hancock County Fair Board gives them.
As director of the event, Bill Higginbotham receives a variety of feedback from spectators, both good and bad, but in the end, its all about the kids.
For Jenna's mother, the opportunity for Jenna to ride alongside others, in front of dozens of people, is both inspiring and informational, as it allows Jenna to create friendships while still learning life experiences.
Sunday's trophy was the first trophy Jenna has ever won, and she plans on putting it on display in her room.