XENIA — Competition was stiff at the market hog show on Wednesday, but three young individuals showed they had what it took to be a hog’s head above the rest.
Taylor Warner, who showed the champion gilt hog that morning and became the Reserve Grand Champion that afternoon, barely had time to collect her winnings before she was off to show goats in the next barn.
Warner, whose day consisted of showing three pigs, a pen of chickens, a turkey, and four goats, won the Reserve Champion title in poultry as well.
“I’ve been up since 6 a.m.,” she said of her busy day.
How does she do it? Her friends in the Prime Producers 4-H Club help her show all her animals, as does her sister, Brooklyn.
“The hardest part is not showing my own animals,” she said.
Though he didn’t have quite the jam-packed schedule, Casen Hawkins found his own success this year by trying something new. Hawkins secured himself the Overall Purebred Division Champion by showing his purebred Duroc. (The Duroc’s name is Willis.) 2020 is Hawkins’ first year in 4-H, and this is also the first time he’s ever showed a purebred.
“It was his grandma’s idea to show a Duroc,” Hawkins’ father said.
The Hawkins family includes three generations of showing hogs. Casen has shown hogs in open division in previous years, but followed his sister Bailey’s footsteps to join 4-H. Casen said Red pigs are his favorite, and he and his sister are showing cows at the market beef show on Thursday.
By 3 p.m., all the divisions had declared their champions, and it was time for the final drive. After due consideration, the judge decided to award the Overall Grand Champion title to Emma Schnecker. Schnecker had shown her gilt earlier in the day, but earned Grand Champion status with her barrow promptly before the champion drive took place. For Schnecker, it was an abrupt but certainly welcome turn of events.
“I was reserve champion last year,” she said. “I wasn’t expecting to win.”
That being said, her hog presented all the qualities the judge was looking for: a good bone structure, a long neck held high, and a good stride as it moves around the arena.
This year is Schnecker’s first Grand Champion win. She has one more year in 4-H, and riding on the back of this year’s success, she hopes to make it to state in 2021.
Reach London Bishop at (937) 502-4532