XENIA — In her last year of competition, Brooklyn Dean has won the ultimate showmanship contest.
The 2014 Showman of Showmen was named following nearly four hours of competition Thursday afternoon at the Greene County Fair. Dean, 18, is a member of Jamestown Jr. Farmers 4-H Club and has been showing animals since she was 9-years-old.
This was Dean’s third year competing in the Showman of Showmen competition and she came in third at last year’s event.
“I was very surprised I won. I didn’t expect it at all. There are a lot of really good showman,” she said. “This has been a learning experience for sure. I think it’s important to be a good showman. Even when you have a good animal you have to be able to handle it and work hard at it.”
She received the honor of having her name engraved on the traveling trophy, and a clock trophy to keep. If a showman wins two consecutive years they get to keep the large trophy.
During the Showman of Showmen event, the contestants travel from barn to barn to show six species including horse, hog, sheep, goat, dairy and beef. With each species, the handlers participate in a real show complete with formations and questions specific to each animal. To be eligible for the competition, contestants must have won a past senior showmanship event for one of these animals.
Participants typically prepare for this show by asking people who are familiar with the animals what to do or try to pick up a thing or two by watching other shows.
“It’s a pretty exciting afternoon where you get to see how much and how well the kids have shared their knowledge with each other,” said show organizer Monette Randall, who has overseen the event for more than a decade.
Dean qualified for the competition by winning senior showmanship in sheep, but she has also shown beef cattle and goats. She has learned a lot about the other animals —dairy cattle, horses and hogs—from her fellow showmen.
“The hogs are the hardest, they’re the stubborn ones,” said Dean. “Sheep are still my favorite.”
The Showman of Showmen is chosen based on who earns the most points overall, but there were ties for first and fourth place. Dean and beef cattle showman Cole Hiser, 16, from Noah’s Ark 4-H club, tied with 262 overall points, but Dean had hire scores in more of the individual animal shows which earned her the top spot.
“It was neck and neck all the way through,” Randall said.
Third place went to hog showman Haley Quallen, 16, from Greene Acres, who earned 256. Goat showman Bethany Norman, 18, from Creative Christian Clovers, and horse showman Mikal Porter, 16, from Jamestown Jr. Farmers, tied with 255 overall points. Norman took fourth place and Porter ended in fifth.
The remaining contestants and the animals they became eligible with were Megan Murray, 16, horse, from Kreative Kids; Hunter Ratliff, 17, dairy feeder, Prime Producers; Brant Wickline, 17, dairy feeder, Prime Producers; Natalie Caudill, 16, goat, Jamestown Jr. Farmers; Sarah Harner, 15, steer, Back 40; Olivia Bradds, 16, horse, Jamestown Jr. Farmers; Madison Kilbarger, 15, horse, Just Horsin’ Around; Makayla Dean, 16, sheep, Jamestown Jr. Farmers, and Kylie Mueller, 16, sheep, Eager Beavers.
The judges for this year were goat judge Taylor Ferguson, sheep judge Jason Percival, hog judge Rhonda Bone, beef cattle judge Brent Brown, dairy cattle judge Allen Beam and horse judge Krista Schrucker.
Amanda Crowe is editor of the Fairborn Daily Herald covering Fairborn, Yellow Springs, Enon and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Contact her by phone at 878-3993 ext. 134 or on Twitter @FairbornHerald.