By LISA BRITTON
Of the Baker City Herald
As the riders rounded the corner and started back toward the finish line, four-year-old Annika Andersen forgot to turn and left the others in the dust. She ran so fast that she almost made it across the roped-off parking lot before parents could chase her down and point her in the right direction.
Among the many live animals at the Baker County Fair on Wednesday, inanimate stick horses provided the transportation for kids in the stick horse races.
Children ages 4 to 11 signed up to compete in the race, one of the many side events scheduled for this year's fair.
The youngsters lined up at the chalk line astride their horses in their individual age groups. Betty Spooner, the organizer of the race, turned on some music and, after demonstrating the course, set the kids off on their own.
The contestants ran down to a set of three orange cones, around the markers and then raced back to the chalk start/finish line. The groups then raced off for the win in two heats the youngest children first, then the 9-, 10- and 11-year-olds.
The three winners for the youngest racers were: Cheyenne Golden, first; Christian Miles, second; and Sutton Comstock, third.
The older placers were: Jace Prowell, first; Mackenzie Warner, second; and Felicia Schneider and Nicole Markgraf tied for third.
Spooner said that some of the stick horses were donated for the event, and others were brought from the contestant's homes.
Laurie Bean, fair manager, said that along with other scheduled games, at least one more upcoming event would be well worth the money. One hundred tickets are being sold for Cow Chip Bingo, which will take place when all the tickets have been sold.
To determine a winner, a cow will be placed inside a pen that is placed over a numbered grid. The winning number will be discovered when she leaves her mark on the pavement. It takes $5 to enter, and the prize is $100.