Kosta Xenikis, 14, of London, bested seven other top livestock showmen on Friday to win Grand Showman of Showmen honors at the 2017 Madison County Junior Fair.
Xenikis, a member of the Speedy Spurs 4-H Club, qualified for the competition by scoring the junior fair’s top beef showmanship award. He was also named the premier beef exhibitor.
In a show of good sportsmanship, others in the hotly contested grand showman competition crowded around Xenikis in congratulations at the conclusion of the more than two-hour event.
Others in the contest were: Olivia Finke, 12, the top dairy showman; Baylee Anderson, 15, horse showman; Serenity Kirts, 16, poultry showman; Haylee Henry, 16, swine showman; Brooks Barber, 15, goat showman; Madison Shaw, 14, rabbit showman; and Dalton Cunningham, 14, sheep showman.
All but Shaw and Cunningham are London-area residents. Shaw is from Plain City and Cunningham is from Mount Sterling.
Competitors in the annual grand showmanship contest are judged on their expertise in exhibiting all eight major livestock breeds. That requires handling the animals of others and those with which they may not be familiar.
Contest overseers try to maintain fair and equal footing by selecting similar breeds and animals of similar size and with similar temperaments.
Jane Beathard is a contributing writer for The Madison Press.