No one could blame Whitney Halfhill if she shed a few tears this week.
Halfhill, 12, has competed in the Clay County 4-H Fair for as long as she can remember.
But this year, things were quite different.
Halfhill had planned on showing her horse of six years, Cricket, in the 4-H Horse Show.
But just before the fair started this year, her mother, Marlene Halfhill, said the horse may have developed colic. The 19-year-old horse died before Whitney had a chance to show the animal.
But the unfortunate situations didn't stop there.
Whitney had shown her 4-year-old dog, Gunner, this year. And only days after the show, Gunner was hit by a vehicle on United States 40. The dog also died.
But, despite the situations, Whitney has persevered and trudged forward, continuing to show animals at the fair, relying on her faith and her friends in 4-H.
"It's been hard," Whitney said, "Having all the problems that we had with my horse and dog.
"But God has been with me through all this and that's what keeps me going."
Her mother began to tear up Monday after thinking about what her daughter has recently gone through.
"It was real hard for us to get ready for the fair," Marlene said. "But these are our people. They've been so kind and compassionate. There have been a lot of caring people around here."
Marlene said Whitney did manage to compete in the horse show after being allowed to show a horse owned by Debbie and Jim Metz. She finished with a third-place ribbon in the event.
"A month ago, she didn't think she was going to be in the horse barn," Marlene said.
"I was excited because I like all the horse people," Whitney added.
Her dog captured Reserve Champion in Obedience and Showmanship as well.
Following Gunner's passing, Clay County 4-H Extension Agent Melanie Brown provided Whitney with a framed poem.
"As a parent, when you watch a child grieve like that, that's the hardest thing to do," Marlene said.
"But it only makes you stronger. Those animals were part of the family."
Marlene added Whitney has taken the events well so far.
"That's the way she is," Marlene said of her daughter. She never gives up. She's OK. She has a good spirit.
"She's had a blast."