Things got a little strange at the Davis County Sheriff's Mounted Posse Junior Queen Contest in Framingham, Utah after an outbreak of horse herpes forced the contestant to show off their equestrian skills on stick ponies.

Although equine herpes poses no threat to humans, the deadly disease is highly contagious among horses, and the animals are generally quarantined during outbreaks. (Which is why live horses weren't available for the Junior Queen Contest.)

"With a stick horse it's a lot different because you have to do all the work, and I think it's going to be a lot more tiring than with a real horse," said contestant Kylie Felter, anticipating what was going to be like to display her horsemanship with only an inanimate object between her legs.

Because of the situation, the potential queens were judged on their knowledge of the routine rather than their riding ability. This outbreak of Equine Herpesvirus Type 1 Virus (EHV-1) appears to be a mutant strain that has now spread to nine states.

Read on see of video of the contestants in action.

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