IDOA announces dates for junior livestock, horse shows

Parade of Champions on the 2019 Illinois State Fair in Springfield. (Photo by Catrina Rawson)

Illinois youth livestock and horse exhibitors will return to the Illinois State Fairground and the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds in late summer to show their animals, the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) announced Monday morning.

“After the cancellations of the Illinois and Du Quoin State Fairs, we knew there was a need to recognize our junior exhibitors who work year round preparing for the fairs,” Acting Ag Director Jerry Costello II said in a prepared statement. “We are excited to provide modified shows that will provide an opportunity for young adults to exhibit their animals safely following the Restore Illinois plan.”

The livestock shows will happen on two weekends in Springfield while the horse shows will start the end of August in DuQuoin and continue in September. Participation is restricted to Illinois residents ages 8 to 21.

Exhibitors will bring beef cattle, sheep, dairy goats, pygmy goats and rabbits to show at the Illinois State Fairgrounds Sept. 11-13. From Sept. 18-20, exhibitors will show hogs, dairy cattle and meat goats in Springfield.

At the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds, a Junior Horse Show will start with English style classes Aug. 29-30. From Sept. 5-6, riders will return for Western style classes on the southern Illinois fairgrounds.

A $10 entry fee will be charged for the Junior Horse Show. Livestock entry fees will vary, depending on the species. A $20 fee will be charged for beef cattle. A $15 fee will be charged for dairy cattle, swine, sheep and goats. A $1 fee will be charged for rabbits and poultry.

On June 12, Gov. J.B. Pritzker canceled the two state fairs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, Illinois 4-H is planning virtual judging for thousands of 4-H’ers who represent their county 4-H programs in state competitions that traditionally are held during the Illinois State Fair.

More details on the Junior Livestock and Horse Shows will be posted on IDOA’s website.