Junior – Brent Casey, Dunnellon Elementary 4H
Intermediate – Kylie Krause, Lucky Learners 4H
Senior – Ishana Maharaj, Dunnellon 4H
A miniature version of Ocala’s Horse Fever started this event on its way in 2002. Contestants were able to purchase 4″ ceramic horses and decorate them in any fashion their imaginations could dream up. A total of 55 horses were entered, with each one done in an outstanding design. Everything from paint to cloth, and from feathers to jewelry was used. Members of the original Horse Fever contest were judges, and they were amazed at the originality of the students. Since then, the Animal Fever contest has featured miniature cows, rabbits, pigs, roosters, hens, alligators, dogs, cats, donkeys, buffalo, owls and lambs. A complete set of bookcases had to be built in only the second year of the contest to accommodate the growing numbers of entries, and those are already starting to become cramped. Despite how the show has grown in such a short time, the exhibitions continue to amaze with their unbelievable originality and creativeness. From animals in ‘traditional’ colors, to ones with intricate designs, to the occasional entry wearing clothes, shoes, a hat, and lipstick, each one has been an individual creation by an individual mind.