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Ron Kraemer is back in the saddle at State Fair

Ron Kraemer of Osakis rode his horse, Crow, in the Minnesota State Fair parade honor guard on Friday, August 31. This was Kraemer's 43rd year of service at the fair. (Photo by Roberta Olson)

Ron Kraemer of Osakis just completed his 43rd year as a Mounted Patrol at the Minnesota State Fair.

Will he make it 44? "I don't really make plans anymore," Kraemer. "I am almost 79 years old!"

Kraemer and his trusty horse, Crow, have worked together at the State Fair for the past 12 or 15 years, he estimated. Before Crow, there were other horses that made the trek from rural Osakis, spending more than two weeks camping on the fairgrounds and serving the public.

"I have had different horses over the years," he said, "but I still have the same wife."

Three years ago, the barns for the mounted patrol officers and horses near the Grandstand were torn down, and the horses and camping area were moved to their present location behind the swine barns.

Working at the fair has been a family event for the Kraemers. Kraemer's son served with him as a mounted patrol for 10 to 12 years, and some of his children also worked fair season jobs.

Kraemer retired from the Douglas County Courthouse in Alexandria a year ago after 25 years as maintenance and groundskeeper. He is also retired from farming but still raises some animals.