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Hunter arena filled for 4-H Hog Show

| October 3, 2016

COSHOCTON – Hunter Arena had few empty seats and a large crowd was standing to get a closer look as the 4-H Hog Show began Sunday afternoon, Oct. 2, at the Coshocton County Fair.

Two livestock rings were repeatedly filled as class after class filed in to hopefully impress the judges. Some classes were so large that the class was split and the top from each half then competed for the trophy and blue ribbon.

As each class was finished, the judge for that ring explained to the crowd why he chose the youth or hog for the top prizes. In the showmanship classes, the youth were divided by age and experience showed as the 18-year-old class began the show. Colin McCoy received the top honors for the first class of the day.

To win a top showmanship award, the youth must make eye contact with the judge throughout the competition and not be focused entirely on his/her hog. The hog is guided with only a stick and the youth should keep the hog in motion at an even pace. They should also make sure their hog stays in the middle of the arena and never let the judge come between them and their hog. The judges also look for youth who are patient with their hogs – even if the hogs may be running or jumping, instead of walking calmly.

Payton Holdsworth finished second in the 14-year-old showmanship class. This is her sixth year showing hogs and she enjoys meeting new people when she is showing her hog. She picked hogs to show because she feels hogs are one of the most challenging animals to show at the fair. She said the hardest part of showing her hog is trying to keep it clean and the money she earns from selling her hog goes into her savings account for college. Holdsworth said being in 4-H has taught her a lot about responsibility and that anyone in 4-H needs to be dedicated to their project and can’t be lazy about it.

Holdsworth’s mom, Anna Bechtol, shared how proud she is of her daughter and that 4-H has taught her responsibility and other skills she will need as she grows up.

Shelbie Carnes competed in the 17-year-old showmanship class and finished second. She has been showing for nine years and is sad that this will be the last year she will compete. She enjoys showing hogs because of the atmosphere in the barns – she knows many of the people and everyone is having fun while they work hard to get their animals ready for the show. Carnes said the hardest part of showing is cleaning up after the fair – the once full, busy barn is quickly empty again and it makes her sad. She plans to use the money she will receive from the sale of her hog toward college expenses and says she will really miss the experience of showing hogs at the fair.

Candy Hostetter is Carnes’s mom and believes that 4-H has taught her daughter a lot about responsibility and helped Carnes learn that she needs to balance her time so she can take care of her hog, do well in school and work at a part-time job.

As the hog show continued throughout the afternoon, cheers and laughter could be heard from the crowds as each class was judged. The youth were serious competitors, but also showed wonderful sportsmanship as the winners were announced. Hugs and handshakes were plentiful among the 4-H’ers who worked so hard to bring the best hog to the fair.

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Article contributed to The Beacon.

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