The Fayette County Junior Fair Rabbit Showmanship contest took place in the small animal barn at the Fayette County Fairgrounds on Monday.
The overall showman that took the top spot was Aubrey Schwartz. She will be a senior at Miami Trace High School this upcoming school year. She has been in 4-H for approximately nine years as she joined in third grade.
The showmanship lasted from 8:30 a.m. to approximately noon with 12 classes.
According to Aubrey, this is her third year winning the overall showman.
In the Showman of Showmen contest—when all top showman of the various species compete—she has won second place for the last two years. Aubrey is hoping to win first place this year.
Aubrey is involved in many activities.
She said, “We have harness racing horses on the grounds and I’ve exhibited art before. I’m involved in FFA, 4-H, Key Club and National Honor Society at school. I play basketball, softball and soccer.”
She is also the current president of the Miami Trace FFA chapter. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with friends or taking a drive while listening to music.
Aubrey’s parents are Bret and Robin Schwartz. Aubrey said, “my parents are just always laid-back and let my sister and me do the work.”
Aubrey explained that her sister, Alexis, “has won overall showman a lot.” When Aubrey was younger, she wanted to be able to beat Alexis for showman.
“She’s definitely helped me a lot in my younger years even if I don’t like to give her credit,” said Aubrey with a laugh. According to Aubrey, she is often recognized and asked if she is “Alexis’ sister.”
Her grandfather is Bob Schwartz, the Senior Fairboard President. She explained, “He’s always around a lot at the fair, especially trying to help out.”
Future plans for Aubrey include going to college and majoring in agricultural education while minoring in agricultural business. She also plans to run for state office through FFA.
The rabbit she showed from third grade passed away a week before the Fayette County Fair last year. The rabbit she won with this year is the same one she showed for the first time last year.
Aubrey said, “He’s done so good. He’s a buck so he gets a little excited when he’s around all the does. I definitely had to work with him to get him to be calm and not to freak out when he gets up here.”
Aubrey keeps rabbits year-round and also breeds them, then sells them to the other kids.
The following persons took second through fifth place: Alyvia Atkinson, Allie Forsythe, Abi Mick and Ben Mathews.
Other class winners included Hillery Jacobs, Morgan Cartwright, Mackenna Leasure, Lynnie King, Leah Marine, Paige Fitzgerald and Sam Pfeifer.
According to Aubrey, the most challenging part of the contest is dealing with the nerves as the contestants get asked questions on-the-spot and they can’t hide.
The most exciting part to the contest is “definitely the little kids. This is Alyvia’s—the contestant that took second place for overall showman—second or third year and she just knows so much already.” According to Aubrey, Alyvia’s grandfather is the person who got herself and her sister started with rabbits and is now getting his grandkids involved.
“It’s just exciting to see them growing so much from last year to this year,” Aubrey said.
Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355.