Anna Straup, 8, keeps her eye on the judge as she shows her pig at the Clark County Fair Friday, July 20, 2018. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Clark County Fair: Young contenders show off hog controlling skills

Eight year old Anna Straup, a three year veteran, was awarded $25 and a trophy for her victory in the Pee Wee Hog Showmanship competition on the first day of the 2018 Clark County Fair.

The fair opened Friday and runs through July 27.

Participants are judged on how well they present and control their pig, said Greg Kaffenbarger Swine Superintendent for the Clark County Fair.

“You can have the best animal in the world, but if you can’t present it to the judge… it’s worthless,” Kaffenbarger said.

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The competitors must guide their pig through the arena without obstructing the judge’s view of the animal, while maintaining a steady pace, Kaffenbarger said.

“Showmanship is very subjective,” said Grant Price, event judge. “There’s no set standard on how things are done.”

Price said that he looks to see all angles of the pig, constant movement, and eye contact from participants.

Anna explained that the keys to success are to keep the pig moving steadily and to keep its head up.

“When you turn, you want to get down, get intense, and have good eye contact,” Anna said.

The competition begins with children five and under, followed by children aged six to eight, and then a single class adult competition.

“I think it’s great that they start the fair off with the little guys,” said Chuck Lusk, whose grandson participated in the event.

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Everyone who participates in the Pee Wee showmanship competition receives a silver dollar and a ribbon for participating, Kaffenbarger said.

The adult showmanship champion is awarded $50, Kaffenbarger said.

Following the shomwanship competition, there is a Market Show, in which participants are judged on the quality of their pigs, Kaffenbarger said.

“We’re looking for carcass quality, build, design, feature in terms of the hog’s mobility and skeletal design,” Price said.

The overall champion of the Market Show is awarded $400, Kaffenbarger said.

Price said that judges from across the country attend the event.

“This is a well known and well represented show, and for good reason,” Price said. “(There’s) an awesome set of kids and great passion for the industry here in Clark County.”

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