XENIA — Moments after Sunday’s Greene County Fair Calf Scramble, Cole Moore, Nathan Russell and Noah Sheridan sat slumped together on a set of steps, covered in mud, feeling as if they’d just played a football game — without pads.
The three Greene County fellows each tackled a calf, successfully placed a rope halter around the cow’s head and pulled all four hooves of their prize into a center circle before the other four contestants could pull off the same feat.
Moore was too exhausted to initially hold his head up. There were three cows in the event, and Moore had four tackles to his credit before finally haltering one and bringing it into the center circle.
Sheridan, of Cedarville, had never competed in a Calf Scramble before.
“It’s really intense out there,” he said. “Running around like that really tires you out. … This feels amazing, because I get to take that cow next year to the fair.”
Sheridan and Russell’s strategy was to wait in the back to go after a cow that had tired a little bit and had gotten up against the steel fencing. Russell, of Xenia, was a rookie in another way, too.
“It was pretty exciting. I’ve never done a calf scramble, or shown cows. I usually show sheep,” Russell said. “I just tried to see who was going to be loose and which cow was going to be open, it was exciting.”
Asked whether he was going to name his cow, Russell replied “Hamburger.”
Moore was covered in mud and worn out after finally nabbing one of the calves. The Jamestown 17-year old had to be treated for exhaustion by Xenia Township paramedics. According to Xenia Township Fire Chief Dean Fox, Moore was transported to Greene Memorial Hospital in stable, non-emergency condition.
“He was stabilized and was up and talking to the medics, but he’s showing signs of exhaustion,” Fox said. “All seven of the constestants will be pretty sore on Monday.”
Luke Dean, Cheyenne Jeffers, Zane Sears and Kassidy Hargraves also competed in the main event.
In the four Kiddie Calf Scrambles, children 13 and under lined up on the west side of the pen. With the ringing of the cowbell, the kids chased after four calves in hopes of grabbing one of the tags off their backs.
The first contestant to snag a tag and then race back to the center circle won $20 dollars. Second earned $15, third-place $10 and the fourth finishing contestant came home with $5.
Adam Cline won the $20 bucks in the Under 9 event, followed by Trent Rowland, Sydnee Hawkins and Emma Koogler. Twenty two kids — and four reasonably startled cows — were in the event.
Sixteen kids participated in the 9-10 year-old scramble with Gunnar Gannon nabbing the first-place money. Kasey Childer was second, Daniel Barron third and Samantha Thomas earned fourth.
Sam Lewis took home the $20 dollars in the 11-year-olds competition, with Ciara Horney, Jamie Pfeifer and Matt Paris rounding out the top-4. Twenty one contestants (and again, four somewhat surprised calves) were in the scramble for 11-year-olds.
In the event for 12 and 13 year olds, Jhett Pack bested 19 other kids, followed by Conner Childers, Justin Keckler and Dessie Shepherd.
All calves were supplied by Greene County-area farms. The cows in the kiddie scrambles were born in or around April; and the three bigger calves in the main event were approximately 8 months old.