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Living history: $13,000 purse in Quarter Horse races

The first annual horse racing event at the Wadena County Fairgrounds took place in 1973. File photo.

20 years ago

Excerpts from the June 26, 1998 Pioneer Journal

• 2003 Miss Wadena named

Abigail Harrison knew the competition would be close, but she left the Memorial Auditorium with a crown and the title of Miss Wadena 2003.

On Sunday night, six contestants took the stage to compete for the title of Miss Wadena and the scholarship awards that came with it. The theme was 'An Evening of Entertainment." Tegan Peterson was named Miss Wadena's first princess and Amanda Wegscheid was named second princess.

Other awards at the competition went to Ashley Kolstad, who won the ambassador award for selling the most tickets to Miss Wadena. Kolstad also won the interview portion of the competition and was chosen as Miss Congeniality by her fellow contestants. Harrison won the talent portion of the competition. She played "Sonata in F Major" as a flute solo with piano accompaniment.

Harrison, 17, is the daughter of Jeff and Kathy Harrison. She will be a senior at Wadena-Deer Creek High School in the fall.

Ella Harrison, the daughter of Ric and Cheryl Harrison, is Harrison's little attendant.

45 years ago

Excerpts from the June 29, 1973 Pioneer Journal

• $13,000 purse in Quarter Horse races

Horse racing in Wadena arrived with a resounding bang as more than 900 paid fans watched exciting Quarter Horse racing at the county fairgrounds Saturday and Sunday.

Despite the fact that practically everything was going full blast in Wadena over the weekend, attendance during the Minnesota Quarter Horse Racing Association sponsored races this past weekend was outstanding and fans flocked to open a new era of sports in central Minnesota.

Attendance reached more than 1,500 with trainers, jockeys and owners at the grandstand.

The races at Wadena boast purses in excess of $13,000 and feature the Minnesota Owned or Bred Quarter horse Futurity for two-year-olds, Derby for three-year-olds and Championship for four-year-olds and up. The Uselman Mile will be the feature race for thoroughbreds.

These races will be held June 30 and July 1 at the fairgrounds. Chuck Miller, St. Michael, goes into the second weekend as leading jockey with 25 points and Larry Antus follows with 18 points.

80 years ago

Excerpts from the June 30, 1938 Pioneer Journal

• 13-year-old Wadena girl rescues three from lake

Betty Lou Stuntebeck, 13, is being acclaimed a heroine for having saved the lives of three companions while swimming in Spirit Lake in Menahga last week.

Betty Lou is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. R.J. Stuntebeck of Wadena.

She doesn't think she did much when she pulled two girls and a boy to safety after they got beyond their depth in the lake. One of the girls rescued is 15 years old and the other is 13 and the boy is 12.

One of the rescued girls had gone down twice when Betty Lou swam out and pulled her to shore. A lifeguard on duty at the time stood ready to help Betty Lou during two of her rescues but had not seen the third victim sinking.

• Farmer finds boy in swampland

A three-year-old boy, lost in the swampland near Rose Lake, was found Monday by a farmer 24 hours after he disappeared.

The boy, Donald Fogel, had been left on shore while his father was on the lake fishing. Later he strayed away and for the rest of the day searching parties combed the country for him.

Emil Kupling, farmer, was cultivating corn near the lake three miles from where the boy had disappeared when he noticed his horses shied when they passed one spot. Investigating, he found the boy. The boy suffered from scratches and mosquito bites but already has recovered.