About horses

The Seneca County Fair’s grandstand welcomed draft horses to the track Wednesday.

The day’s schedule included a draft pony pull, a draft horse show and hitch judging, a lightweight horse pull and a heavyweight horse pull.

The Ken Bonnigson family of Clyde participated in the day’s events with six draft ponies.

Eight-year-old Kristopher Bonnigson, Ken’s son, planned to enter the show arena twice as a competitor and helped his father compete. Kristopher placed fifth the first time he competed on his own at the Seneca County Fair Wednesday.

“I woulda got second, but my horse didn’t go forward,” he said.

Kristopher has grown up around horses and has been showing them since he was 3.

The family has about 25 horses, including draft horses, one quarterhorse and one miniature horse. Kristopher said he likes everything about horses, and his favorite part of showing them is driving them.

He said his favorite horse is Gus because he’s large. Gus measures taller than 61 inches while wearing shoes.

“We didn’t bring him today. Gus and George, they’re the wheel team,” he said.

The family shows horses at the Indiana State Fair. It previously showed horses at the Ohio State Fair.

“We hit two different county fairs instead,” Kristopher said.

This year, the county fair’s sled horse pull was renamed in memory of Herval Thallman, who always went to the horse pull at the fair and was in attendance during last year’s pull. His experience with the Seneca County Fair spanned nearly nine decades when he died at the age of 98 in January.

“He always went to Senior Day,” said Zelda Oakleaf, a director on the Senior Fair Board who plans Senior Day each year.

Thallman’s family presented donations to the Senior Fair Board in his name. The board planted a flowering tree in Thallman’s memory near the antique tractor area of the fairgrounds, and a bench bearing his name is located east of the grandstand.

“He loved the Seneca County Fair,” said Thallman’s daughter, Janet Quarrie.

Quarrie, who has two brothers, Dan and Marty, said her father proposed to her mother under a shade tree at the fairgrounds during the fair.

“He never missed the horse pulling. My brother brought him last summer. He just loved the horses,” she said.