Skylar Plank brushes her champion steers as she waits to auction them off during the Auction of Champions at the Clark County Fair Friday. Bill Lackey/Staff

Clark County Fair wraps up with bigger auction, goodbyes

The Clark County Junior Fair has come to an end, but not before award-winning goodies and livestock were auctioned off.

The auction was held all at once Friday, a change from previous years when the auctions were split over several days.

“It makes it so much easier for the companies to show up and we’ve got a packed house,” Clark County Fairgrounds Executive Director Dean Blair said.

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There was a large crowd at the Champion Center on Friday morning, enough for crews to have to put up more bleacher seating right before the auction began.

“What a great crowd,” Blair said. “It looks like 30 years ago. It’s just so much fun.”

The auction began with bidders spending hundreds of dollars for milk and other items that had won judge’s approval. It ended with bidders spending thousands of dollars on livestock, including the market beef champion. Skylar Plank had a great showing at the fair as she won the grand champion market beef, the reserve champion market beef and the overall market beef premier exhibitor.

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“We were not expecting it,” Plank said of the honors. “It was a huge surprise to us. The support has been fantastic.”

Her grand champion brought her $7,500 while her reserve champion was auctioned for $4,000.

Plank has been involved in the business since she was born, she said. Her grandfather bought her first heifer as a birth present and she began showing when she was 2-years-old.

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She graduated from Northeastern High School this spring and plans to attend Ohio State University in the fall.

“It has been the best way to go out that I could have imagined,” Plank said.

Hunter Kaffenbarger won scramble champion market steer and Jacob Bills won the reserve championship.

Southeastern fourth grader Sarah Waddle also won an award this year. She took home the overall market hog premier exhibitor. She said there’s a lot of responsibility to raising a champion hog.

“Food, water, shots, medicine, washing him, walking him and keeping his exercise,” she said.

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Her father said she has gotten close to the pig over the past year and even taught it to sit on command.

Saying goodbye will be tough, Waddle said.

“It is very hard,” she said. “He is the best pig I’ve ever had.”

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