February 23 to March 4, 2023 Let the Good Times Grow!
February 23 to March 4, 2023 Let the Good Times Grow!

Animal Fever

Show / Contest Coordinator

Kim Everett, 352-546-2442

More about the Animal Fever Contest

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is my child eligible?
Your child can enter the “Watch Me Grow” category and participate in the Animal Fever contest if they are aged 5-7 before September 1, 2022. Any student 8 years old and up may enter if the entry form is accepted by the Youth Fair Office before the deadline. An entry fee is required to enter this contest, along with a payment for the ceramic animal.

Any student exhibitor must be a member of a 4H club or FFA chapter, live in Marion County or attend a Marion County school.

How much does it cost?
$2 entry fee, $5 for Watch Me Grow animal (Squirrel) and $7 for the Exhibitor animal (Fox family).

Where can I pick up the animal to decorate?
Animals are sold on a first come/first served basis. You can pick them up at the SEYF office, located at 2232 NE Jacksonville Road Ocala, FL 34470

2024 Winners



Junior – Callie Rae Cassidy, Majestic Oaks 4H

Intermediate – Jade Dorsey, North Marion Middle FFA

Senior – Abigail Emrich, Belleview High JR FFA


2024 WATCH ME GROW: PUPPY ($5 – included in entry fee when entering online)

2024 ANIMAL FEVER: CAT ($6 – included in entry fee when entering online)



Thank You Animal Fever Participants!

Sponsorship Opportunities

You Can Help

SEYF is a non-profit, and is reliant on help from the community in the form of donations of money, services and time.  Click below to get involved and help us help the youth of Marion County.