Some of the very best livestock and horses in the country will be featured at the 2015 Nebraska State Fair, which runs from August 28 – September 7. Leading off the Fair the first weekend will be Draft Horses, Dairy Cattle, Open Class Sheep, Dairy Goats, Texas Longhorns, Boer Goats as well as Llamas and Alpacas. The Draft Horse Hitch show has become one of the premier shows in all of the United States. There will be 3 performances; Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. These powerful animals are hitched to a wagon and perform in tandem against other teams for trophies and premium money. Friday, September 4 is the Draft Horse Pull where teams of horses try to pull a sled with varying weights. Tickets for these 4 performances may be purchased by contacting the Heartland Events Center ticket office. The Dairy Cattle shows will be held on Friday and Sunday; Dairy Goats, Texas Longhorns, Llamas and Alpacas will be shown on Saturday and Sunday, and the Boer Goats will be exhibited on Sunday and Monday, August 30 and 31. Also on Sunday, the 4-H Dog Show will be held in the Heartland Event Center.
Monday and Tuesday will feature some of the very best working cattle stock dogs in the country. They have a set course in which they will drive the cattle around the Arena, through different obstacles and then into a trailer. This is a timed event. There will be over 70 dogs perform the first day and the top 20 will then work in the Midwest Regional Semi-Finals Monday evening. On Tuesday, the dogs will perform again with the top 10 dogs going to the State Fair & Midwest Regional Finals Tuesday evening. It is amazing to watch how man/woman and dog work together as a team.
Throughout the 11 days there will be an array of horse shows beginning the first weekend with the Foundation Quarter Horse show Friday and Saturday. The Appaloosa Horse shows will be Saturday and Sunday. These shows will be held on the east end of the fairgrounds in the Thompson and Open Air Arenas. Sunday morning the Draft Horse Farm Teams will compete in the outdoor arena. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday will be the Open Class Team Penning and Ranch Sorting events. Some new events for 2015 include the American Stock Horse Association/Collegiate Working Cow Horse Show, the WSRRA Ranch Bronc Riding, the Ranch Stray Gathering Event and the Women’s Ranch Rodeo Events. Back this year performing on Thursday will be the Mounted Shooters in Thompson Arena. Saturday & Sunday will see the Carriage Driving Events and on Sunday the Nebraska Classic Team Penners will be on exhibit.
One of the highlights of the 2015 Fair will be the High School rodeo, which will be held on Monday, September 7 beginning at 8:30 am. The rodeo will feature Bronc Riding, Bareback Riding, Bull Riding, Calf Roping, Team Roping, Steer Wrestling, Goat Tying, Girls Breakaway Roping and Barrel Racing. These events will showcase some of the very best kids from the state of Nebraska. Assisting with the rodeo will be members of five college rodeo teams including Hastings, Curtis, North Platte, Chadron and UNL. At 4:00 pm will be the Nebraska High School/College Rodeo Showcase. The Showcase will feature the top 10 high school students and 1 college student from each event.
The Open Class beef cattle will be exhibiting Wednesday and Thursday again this year in the Five Points Bank Arena. Wednesday also will feature the Junior Breeding Heifer Show and the Open Class Jackpot Feeder & Breeding Calf Show. Angus, Hereford, Red Angus, Charolais, Shorthorn, Simmental, Miniature Hereford, Maine-Anjou, Gelbvieh, Limousin and Dexter Cattle will again be exhibited. This year the Piedmontese breed will be shown for the first time. Thursday evening will culminate with a cattleman’s barbeque followed by the Supreme Drive Championship.
The second weekend will feature the 4-H and FFA shows as well as the Open Class Swine shows. Saturday kicks off with the 4-H Sheep show, 4-H Beef Showmanship, Open Class Breeding Gilt show, Open Class Jackpot Swine Show, FFA Breeding Beef, and 4-H Goats. There is no Poultry show this year because of the avian flu problem. Also on Saturday are the Elite Showmanship Contests sponsored by the Nebraska Department of Ag. On Sunday will be the 4-H Breeding Beef, 4-H Market Lamb, 4-H Rabbit, FFA Feeder & Market Beef, FFA Swine, FFA Goats and FFA Sheep shows. Monday will conclude the Fair with 4-H Market Beef, 4-H Market Swine and the FFA Market Lamb shows. At 3:30 will be the 4-H and FFA Parade of Champions followed by the selection of the 4-H Grand Champion Market Beef. All in all, 2015 should be a spectacular year!