The 2013 Draft Horse Show kicked off festivities at Alparon Park in Troy Sunday as the Troy Fair geared up for its Monday opening.

The show, organized by Tom and Tricia Hojnowski, featured a large group of horses and riders that spanned about six hours with 18 different classes. Spectator attendance was estimated at about 100 people.

After each class was presented and judged by Linda Harrington, National Clydesdale Queen Isabella Lusk handed out awards to riders.

Lusk, 19, of Bedford County was named queen in April by the Clydesdale Breeders of the U.S.A. and began her tour of promoting the organization and breed in Troy.

"I love coming here," Lusk said, "Although the show is not the biggest around, not many fairs in the state have such good competition."

"The attention to detail from entrants here is spectacular," she said.

Lusk will be attending the Bedford County fair today as part of her continuing tour which will culminate at the National Draft Show in Indianapolis in August.

Her mother, Carol Lusk, accompanied her daughter to the show in Troy and said she was extremely proud of what she has accomplished over the years.

"Isabella began becoming interested in this type of thing at the age of six, when she sold onions and sunflowers at the Bedford Fair," Carol explained.

With continued efforts and an increasing paycheck each year at the fair, Isabella purchased a miniature donkey at the age of 12 with fair winnings accrued over the years.

At 15, Isabella gave a speech regarding horses and Clydesdales and was gifted a retired national championship Clydesdale from a person in the audience, her mother said.

"Getting gifted that horse was the best thing to ever happen to her," Carol said.

The horse, named Armageddon's Mistress Moriah, is now 20 years old, a year older than Isabella. Just two years ago, "Moriah" won best of breed (Clydesdale Shire) at a farm show, which according to Carol is extremely rare for a horse of that age to be competitive.

Draft horses were originally bred for strength and size in order to complete heavy labor tasks such as plowing fields and other types of farm labor. However, at the draft show Sunday, the large beasts were "dolled" up with braided tails and multicolored, flashy harnesses. Riders took commands from the show's announcer such as "stop," "jog," and "trot" and each horse was subsequently judged on its response.

Tom Hojnowski said he was extremely pleased with the turnout for the event, and is planning on organizing it again next year.

Tim Zyla can be reached at (570) 265-1634; or e-mail: tzyla@thedailyreview.com.