Mike McKibbin

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September 5, 2012
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Twin sisters always together, even as GarCo Fair royalty

Most people probably think identical twins are one of two types - they either love to be around and look like each other and do everything together, or they do all they can to act and look as different from each other as possible.

For Karly and Katie Manupella of Silt Mesa, it's definitely the former.

It may not be to the extent of talking and laughing alike all the time, but it may be close. They do seem to dress alike, even when it comes to fancy gowns, sashes and crowns they'll be wearing this year.

Case in point: their participation in the Garfield County 4-H program, where the 12-year-old girls have both raised pigs, lambs, goats and horses for the last four years.

This year, their identities as twins resulted in their being named Garfield County Fair co-princesses by the fair board.

They do everything together, according to their mom, Kaycee.

"If one of them rides their horse, the other one has to ride theirs," she added.

"Very rarely will they be split apart for any length of time," their dad, Mike, said.

Kaycee teaches fourth grade at Elk Creek Elementary School in Silt and Mike works in the natural gas business. They also raise cows on their Silt Mesa spread, where they've lived for the last 61⁄2 years.

Kaycee and Mike said Karly and Katie began riding horses when they were about two years old.

"My sister gave me an old horse she had used in 4-H, so they started early," Kaycee said. "I'd been in 4-H as a kid, so I started riding again, too. We do things like ranch sorting, good family fun."

Karly said being in the royalty competition at the county fair was "cool, because we got to carry a flag."

"They had their try-outs in July," Kaycee said. "And we kept telling them they had to be on their best behavior since then if they wanted to be princesses."

Fair Queen Annie McNeal is an idol of both girls, Kaycee said, so being named co-princesses was special in that regard, too.

The girls were officially "sashed" as fair co-princesses at the demolition derby toward the end of the fair. Their first official duties will be to take part in the Burning Mountain Festival parade in New Castle, then travel around the state over the coming year, said dad Mike.

The twin's success often mirrors each other, too. Last year, Katie's goat won grand champion market goat. This year, Karly's goat garnered the same honor.

The girls, seventh-graders at Riverside Middle School, play volleyball and basketball together and both have been honor roll students.

"They're both going hunting for the first time in Colorado this fall," Mike said. "They've been hunting before in Nebraska, but they weren't old enough in Colorado until this year."

Seems chances look pretty good they'll both come home with their own deer.

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The Post Independent Updated Sep 5, 2012 06:18PM Published Sep 5, 2012 06:15PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.