Keeping their eyes on the prizes

Maintaining eye contact at all times is one of the key elements of any showmanship contest, the winners of Monday evening’s swine showmanship event said.


Participants in the pee wee, age 5 and 6, category of Monday's Junior Fair swine showmanship contest drive their hogs around the show arena, (EXAMINER PHOTO | REUBEN MEES)

But one teen who took one of two first place trophies in the senior division focused on an extra detail that grabbed the attention of judge Ken McCullough of Mt. Victory.

“It’s really just trying to show all sides to the judge and maintaining eye contact at all times,” Lexi Stewart of Richwood said. “But one of the main things I tried to focus on this year was stopping the hog to make sure the judge could see it and how nice the loin looks. It is a different angle than when it is walking.”

And it did catch the judge’s eye as Mr. McCullough made it a point to comment on the technique during his remarks after the judging of the first of the two senior classes.

“This girl stopped the hog in front of me to really see it,” he said of the 14-year-old Richwood girl’s presentation. “She really did an excellent job.”

Also taking home a first place trophy in the senior division was Kyle Ackley, 18, of East Liberty, who also won a coin toss against Lexi to determine which of the two would advance to Saturday’s Showman of Showmen contest.

In judging the various age groups, Mr. McCullough focused on a progression of techniques ranging from pee wee contestants’ ability to use a device to keep a hog moving around the arena to more advanced showmen’s abilities to keep eye contact and stay on the opposite side of the animal when presenting the animal to the judge.

“They all did really well,” the judge said after the event. “What I really enjoyed is that there weren’t any kids that really got after the hogs and were beating on them.”

The winners were:






















Pee Wee (age 5 and 6) — Class 1: 1. Madison Hoffman, 6, of DeGraff; 2. Kaidyn Green, 6, of Bellefontaine. Class 2: 1. Zoey Ransbottom, 6, of DeGraff; 2. Addison Beck, 6, of Lewistown.

Pee Wee (age 7 and 8) — Class 1: 1. Lacey Schwieterman, 8, of Lewistown; 2. Savannah Hill, 8, of DeGraff. Class 2: 1. Tony Cummins, 8, of Lewistown; 2. Gavin Hoffman, 8, of DeGraff.

Junior — Class 1: 1. Megan Kimbler, 9, of Russells Point; 2. Carson Lyden, 10, of Belle Center. Class 2: 1. Nathan Cummins, 11, of Lewistown; 2. Lukas Schwieterman, 10, of Lewistown.

Intermediate — Class 1: 1. Nolan Roose, 12, of East Liberty; Olivia Roose, 13, of East Liberty. Class 2: 1. Ella Studebaker, 11, of Bellefontaine; Samuel Jackson, 14, of DeGraff.

Senior — Class 1: 1. Lexi Stewart, 14, of Richwood; 2. Morganne Faler, 17, of Huntsville; Class 2: 1. Kyle Ackley, 18, of East Liberty; 2. Dalton Faler, 15, of Huntsville.