Boots to bridles

Drake Erritt, 11, of Somers, got himself a pair of slightly used boots Sunday afternoon.

He won them at the Webster County 4-H Project Fall Tack Sale the same way any other savvy bidder wins an auction – with enough of a nod so the auctioneer sees him but not enough to tip off the other buyers.

Even though he got to bid and win all by himself, the boots were heading for the feet of his grandfather, John Erritt, who was sitting next to him.

They were just his size, even if not exactly 100 percent his style.

“That doesn’t make any difference for that price,” he said of the $35 purchase.

The auction was held at the Webster County Fairgrounds.

Erritt was happy to help out the current crop of participants.

“I was in 4-H myself,” he said.

His family members continue to participate.

“I have three granddaughters that ride the barrels and a grandson that likes the bulls,” he said. “We’re into it pretty big.”

Sonya Bailey, of Lehigh, said she came to the sale looking for a bargain, but also to lighten her own inventory a bit.

“I brought some to sell to try to help the kids,” she said.

Those items included bridles and blankets. She has plenty of equine company at home.

“I have four and one in the oven,” she said.

There’s really no limit to what can be bought and sold at the auction. Items included a photo book about cowboys, two jugs of fly spray, a 50-pound bag of horse feed, lots of blankets, buckets, a few art items and even a set of well-cared-for boots in ever increasing children’s sizes.

For those who might have lost theirs, yes, there were two cowboy hats available.

Michael Erritt, of Callender, is the superintendent of the 4-H Horse Project. He said that they have been hosting the Tack Sales for four years in the spring. Sunday’s sale was the first sale they’ve hosted in the fall. He said they will continue to do two a year.

Proceeds go back into the program.

“It all goes back to pay for awards, trophies, year-end buckles and judges’ fees,” he said.

He expects the sale to raise between $1,000 and $1,500.

“That’s about a quarter of what we need,” he said.

More than 30 students are involved in the 4-H Horse Project, he said.

He’s pretty open-minded about what goes in the sale too.

“As long as it has anything to do with horses,” he said, pausing briefly as his eye came to rest on a cowboy alarm clock, “or horse decorations.”

Garrett Barker, 11, of Manson, attended the auction with his parents, Kevin and Jacy Barker. She said they came to help support the 4-H program and that they usually purchase something.

Two items Garrett Barker wouldn’t be bidding on, though, were nearby – a cowboy statue and a pair of cowboy hats.

The art was a firm, “No.”

The hats, “I have enough.”