2012 Ft. Worth Stock Show
Little America had a great time with the horses at the 2012 Ft. Worth Livestock Show. Tony, Lauren and five Thursday Kids had over 80 entries and came home with over 50 first place ribbons from the two judges at the show, as well as five grands, three reserves and a supreme, totaling 146 points!
The Star-Telegram did a story on the Thursday Kids during the show. See the article and the photographs they took below.
Fort Worth Stock Show hosts members of
Thursday Kids miniature horse program
Star-Telegram article By Sarah Bahari
Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012
FORT WORTH -- Kameron Welma led a miniature horse around the ring, feeling the dirt floor with his small feet clad in cowboy boots.
Kameron peered out from under a large black cowboy hat and squinted at the judges. Born four months premature, the 9-year-old is legally blind.
Kameron, of Kyle, a suburb of Austin, won two third places Sunday at the Stock Show miniature horse show.
"I can't see out of this eye," Kameron said, pointing to his right eye while carrying his ribbons. "I can see really big stuff, just not the small stuff."
Kameron was among the children from Thursday Kids, started by Lauren Greaves in the Austin suburb of Buda to introduce children to Little America Miniature Horses. Every Thursday after school, kids spend a couple of hours feeding, cleaning, brushing and learning about the horses.
Greaves, who began Thursday Kids as a high school student, asked her father, Tony, to continue the program when she left for college. She returned this year after graduating from Texas A&M and runs Thursday Kids with her parents.
"It gives the kids a sense of accomplishment and leadership and a creative outlet," Lauren Greaves said. "And it teaches them about this wonderful breed."
Miniature horses were bred hundreds of years ago as pets for European nobility, said Nancy Braesicke, who coordinated the horse show. They were later used in coal mines because their size helped them squeeze into tight spaces.
A miniature horse is no bigger than a large dog, according to the American Miniature Horse Association.
Drawn to the horses' kind, gentle nature, the Greaves family owns about 170 miniature horses and provides them free to Thursday Kids families. Children as young as 3 have participated in the program.
More than three years ago, Sarah Johnson, 14, of Lockhart visited the Greaves' home on a 4-H trip and then begged her mother to let her return. As an animal lover, she now looks forward to Thursdays all week.
"I just love the horses and love spending time with them," Johnson said. "They're smaller so you don't feel scared at all."
For Kameron, who cannot play team sports because of his eyesight, working with the horses has built self-confidence, said his father, Pete Welma.
"Having a commitment one day a week to clean stalls, brush and clean the horses and practice showing has taught him a lot about responsibility," Pete Welma said. "It has been incredible for all the kids."