Day 8's Blue Ribbon: Play-by-Play in your ear at the State Fair Horse Show
STATE FAIRGROUNDS -- The State Fair Horse Show packs in crowds every day, and most of the people who fill the stands have no idea of how the competitors are judged.
Horse Show Superintendent Naomi Blumenthal is experimenting with a way to change that: Earbuds to listen to commentary on what's going on in the ring. Listeners can also text in questions, which are answered to all the listeners by a group of horse people, including specialists in the particular breed or horse type that's showing.
There are signs at the Coliseum entrances directing spectators to where the earbuds are available.
Blumenthal hopes the education effort will get more people interested in horses, and that the interest will turn into attending others of the many horse shows that are staged at the fairgrounds, from spring into winter each year (almost all with free admission.)
Blumenthal says the system is being tried with the horse show this year, but other livestock exhibitors have shown interest, so it may be available at other animal competitions next year.
The innovative approach to educating and entertaining spectators is our Blue Ribbon award winner for Thursday.