Twenty-two competitors entered but only a few won Monday’s dairy cattle showmanship competitions at the Madison County Fair.
The evening competitions were judged by Matt Griffith, who was raised on a Holstein dairy farm and served as a judge for the Ohio State University in 2004 as well as other competitions in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky.
The first competition was for the 4-H Senior Showmanship competition which was won by Alexandra Runyon, 18, of the Eager Achievers 4-H Club in first and JT Lemmermen, 17, of the Monroe Winners 4-H Club in second.
Griffith said they were great showmen to start off the competition.
“Excellent class of showmanship to start off our show today,” said Griffith. “We have two kids starting off this class doing an excellent job…the young lady with the Holstein Heifer I think maybe she had some advantages on how she was handling the head and neck of the animal. When I’m coming around the front of the animal that’s where I’m concentrated and that’s where I think she had the advantage today over the young gentleman with the jersey.”
He also had praise for Lemmermen.
“He’s really doing an excellent job leading that animal around the ring,” he said. “It even tried to struggle with him a couple times and he kept on going right with it.”
The duo went on to win the competition as well in the same positions.
“They’re two excellent showers,” said Griffith. “I wish them well going forward.”
The 4-H Intermediate Showmanship competition followed, which was won by Olivia Finke, 12, of Eager Achievers 4-H Club and Brooke Sims, 13, of Mudslingers 4-H Club who also went on to place the same in Open Showmanship as well.
“The kids did a great job from the top to the bottom of the class,” said Griffith.
The open and 4-H Junior Showman competitions were won by Lillian Finke, 10, of Eager Achievers and Anne Rawn, 12, of the Mudslingers who placed in first and second respectively.
The events concluded with the Showman of Showmen competition.
Olivia Finke placed first, Runyon placed second and Lemmermen placed third.
“Today it’s really close between these top three showers,” said Griffith. “When we get down to it, it’s this first place Intermediate Showmanship [winner, Finke] and the two in the senior class … they’re pretty inseparable.”
He went through two different tests to see who had various advantages over the other. He said that they all successfully lined their animals up for judging, but all differed in how they pulled in and placed their animal.
“When you pull in and place them I want to see it done quick and that means maybe change the way you’re holding the halter, how you walk forward to get to that place and I think that was what the biggest difference between this young lady from Intermediate Showmanship [Finke],” he said. “She does a few different things with the halter what I’m trying to look at and that’s what separated her from the young lady, [Runyon], our Senior Showmanship winner along with our second place winner, [Lemmermen], the young gentleman. All three do an excellent job but there’s a few advantages from the lady who will win for showmanship class and that’s going to be [Finke].”
Maximilian Kwiatkowski can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1617 or on Twitter @MSFKwiat.