Every year to end the Fayette County Junior Fair, the top showmen from each animal species gather for the ultimate test of showmanship skill as they attempt to present all the species represented at the Showman of Showmen competitions.
For the past few years, the animals have been divided by “Small” and “Large.” The small animals include ducks, chickens, turkeys, rabbits and dogs; and the large animals include all types of dairy and beef cattle projects, horses, hogs and goats. As a winner is named Overall Showman for their breed throughout the week, they are then challenged to learn how to show all of the other animals in their category.
On Saturday, the showmen finally had a chance to demonstrate those skills.
The small animal division began at noon with five competitors. After about an hour, Dylan Page was announced as the Showman of Showmen for the small animal division.
“The past few years I have been in the Showman of Showmen competition,” Page said during the show. “One year I came in fourth and another I came in second so I have finally been able to get a win. I showed fancy birds. I would like to thank the other exhibitors today because they showed great sportsmanship. We all came, a few yesterday and more this morning, to help one another out. I am glad we could participate in such a great fashion and I want to thank the Senior Fair Board and judges, which allows us to hold this contest and a great 2017 fair.”
Immediately following was the large animal division. The competition was stiff, but Victoria Waits was eventually named the Showman of Showmen for the large animal division.
“Last year it became my goal when I was in the Showman of Showmen to win it,” Waits said. “Last year I don’t think I was ready and I didn’t have enough time to prepare. After that though I have learned how to show most of the animals. This year it was mostly about making sure I could answer all their questions. Showmanship was always pushed in my family, because that is what you are judged on. It isn’t about how well your animal is, but how you present your animal. That is the most important things to me, showmanship has always been more important to me than the show. And for the younger exhibitors, just keep trying, don’t let anyone put you down, and make sure whatever you do you have a good support system and you keep trying no matter what.”
Both competitors were awarded with an Overall Showman of Showmen chair, a trophy and ribbon.
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy