Bull riding, strongman competition bring crowds to day two of 4-H & FFA Fair

Sights and sounds from the 4-H & FFA fair bull riding

Seven-year-old Haven Bowers walked out into the Buck Miller Arena in a blue "Frozen" shirt and helmet and climbed on a sheep.

She held on as the sheep raced across the arena, arms wrapped around its neck.


Her favorite part? "How fluffy the sheep was," Haven said.

And while it may have been Haven's first time mutton busting, she took first out of all of the participants at the Carroll County 4-H & FFA Fair rodeo.


Mutton busting was just one part of Saturday night's events at the fair. The second day of the 4-H fair brought with it a robotics contest, the children's pedal pull, pig racing and more.

But perhaps the most anticipated part of the night was the J Bar W Ranch bull riding event. Hundreds packed into the Buck Miller Arena, lining the grass, as the sun came out after hours of rain both Friday and Saturday.

Watch men, women compete in strongman competition at Carroll County 4-H & FFA Fair

Sonny Williams, whose Union Bridge ranch hosted the rodeo, said they were excited to be back at the fair again this year. This year's weather was a bonus, he said, because it brought so many people out.

"You always have really big crowds here," he said.


Kary Mullen, of Westminster, came out Saturday night with her 8-year-old son, Ryan, to watch the bull riding.

Mullen said they love to come out to the 4-H fair, and plan to come back later in the week.

"We always support the local fair," she said.

People littered the grass surrounding the arena, most in cowboy hats or boots. Prior in the day, a smaller group came out in the rain for the strongman competition.

The Musclemine strongman competition began at 10 a.m. Saturday and continued into the afternoon. The group made of friends, family members and spectators stood under the activity tent cheering on men and women lifting weights, barrels and more.

The competition, called the MuscleMine Rural Rumble 2, contest director Phil Gruentzel, of Finksburg, said, had five different events with 40 competitors.

"It's been a pretty big draw," Gruentzel said.

The day was filled will lifting metal barrels, benching weight and other events. It concluded with the "Hercules Hold," which required participants to hold up weight on each side of their bodies using handles — the participant's arms are out in a T shape.

Gruentzel said two participants go at a time to see who can hold the weight the longest, making it a competitive event. Sometimes, they face each other while they do it, he said.

"It's the intimidation factor," he added.

For Nicolai Myers, Saturday's competition was a little more special than usual.

While the Finksburg resident came out to the 4-H & FFA Fair for the competition, the grounds weren't unfamiliar to him. Myers said he showed cattle and pigs in the fair for 10 years or so when he was growing up.

"It's not a big comp, but it's my hometown so I had to do it," he said.

Myers said as a kid, he grew up around pigs and cattle and so doing 4-H with his friends just made sense. It was fun, he said.

It nostalgic and had him reminiscing, Myers added, seeing all of the kids who are now the older 4-H'ers that he knew from his time there.

"It's cool to see the kids that were the juniors and the little guys when I was showing," he added.


If you go

Sunday's 4-H Fair highlights

•10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Parking Lot — Car Show

•2 p.m., Activity Tent — Billy Harrison and the Haywire Band

•4 p.m., Vendor Area — Master of Chainsaw Carver (Marty Long)

•6 p.m., Fair Grounds — Parade

•1 p.m., Shipley Building — Ms. Carroll County Farm Bureau Contest