Hearing-impaired wrangler charms audience at Larimer County Fair

Bailey Wilcox needs a little boost to get up on Cydney, her 19-year-old gray and white Appaloosa. She’s been riding since she was 3, but isn’t yet quite tall enough to mount on her own. Yet once in the saddle, she’s off and away. A third grader at McGraw Elementary School in Fort Collins where there’s a special program for hearing-impaired kids, Bailey rode her horse and showed her pigs and rabbits at the Larimer County Fair in July. She took Cydney through her paces in flag pole, trail riding, barrel riding and freestyle musical events.

Bailey‘s musical freestyle number was good enough for a fifth place in the junior division ages 8 to 10. She selected her own music and designed her two-and-half-minute presentation. Her mom, Teresa Wilcox, was touched by teachers from McGraw who gave their time to interpret for Bailey at the fair. An appreciative audience cheered her on by waving raised hands instead of clapping which Bailey would not have been able to hear.

Not to be outdone by her younger sister, Satin, 12, a sixth grader at Wellington Middle School, took a third place in showmanship with her pigs and was named Swine Princess at the fair.

Bailey’s great-grandmother made her chaps and her great-grandfather, along with a Marine friend, held flagpoles for Bailey as she wove her way through the flag pole event. 4-H is a way of life for the Wilcox family. They live on 10 rural acres north and west of Waverly in the home where Dad Rusty grew up. Teresa has been involved in 4-H for 17 years and currently leads the Cinch ‘Em Up Club that serves 8- to 18-year-olds and meets monthly in LaPorte at the American Legion Hall.

Next year? Bailey and Satin will be showing their animals again at the Larimer County Fair. Satin hopes to have a new horse to ride. Bailey plans to raise a champion goat.

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