The flow of consistency and intensity in the market sheep classes Thursday assured the event’s competitiveness from start to finish. From the youngest classes to the oldest classes, 4-H members entered the pen at the 2016 Fayette County Jr. Fair with the same goal in mind: to be named grand champion market sheep.
Andrew Guthrie took the honor of grand champion. Cody Clyburn was named as reserve grand champion.
The event judge was Andy Korb from Oxford, Ohio. Korb, an auctioneer specializing in livestock marketing, has been a judge for shows throughout the country.
Both Guthrie and Clyburn placed first in their market sheep showman classes Thursday.
In the final minutes of the 10th grade and up class, Korb pulled the top three to center of the pen. He asked Clyburn, “If you had to pick a place in the pen to show your animals, where would you put it?”
The top sheep showmen in the class said they would put their sheep in the center of the pen.
When Korb asked Clyburn why, Clyburn said, “The center of the ring so the judge can look at all of the different views, angles, and sides of the sheep.”
So that’s exactly what Korb did. As minutes passed, the sheep began to “bae” and “meh” but in the end, Clyburn kept control of his sheep. And his solid showmanship and answer to Korb’s question got him first place in the 10th grade and up class for market sheep showmanship.
The second place in that class was Bailey Perrill. Third place went to Lizzie Garren.
Wyatt Cory was the first place showman in the seventh through ninth grade market sheep showman class.
For the sixth grade market sheep showman class, Emily Taylor placed first.
The fifth grade class was Andrew Guthrie for first place market sheep showman.
Guthrie would later compete and win as grand champion.
Austin Boedecker took first place in the fourth grade market sheep showman class.
In the last few minutes of the third grade market sheep showman class, Korb asked each individual a question.
“What’s your sheep’s name?” said Korb.
Korb slowly began to narrow down a top showman.
When Korb asked Eric Taylor what his sheep’s name was, Taylor said: “Champion.”
Korb asked why.
“Because he’s my champion,” said Taylor.
Taylor had the most intensity and consistency of everyone in the third grade class, said Korb, and he named Taylor as the first place winner for the third grade market sheep showman class.
“These kids work hard with these animals and they bond with these animals,” said Korb.
Korb said it has a different meaning to bond with animals than with bonds to other people.
“Watch these young kids and do everything you can to help these young kids get better,” said Korb.
The judge said he was very impressed with the quality and intensity of all showmanship class participants.
“They all did an outstanding job,” said Korb.
At last the first place winner from each of the sheep showman classes was called back into the pen with their sheep to compete against one another for overall grand champion sheep showman.
Participants lined up in the pen and the judge took his time getting a good look at the sheep from different view points.
He narrowed it down to the top three. He instructed those three to walk around the pen, watching closely at how the sheep were handled. Finally, Korb made an announcement.
“These top three deserve to be recognized for the hard work they’ve put into this,” said Korb.
Cody Clyburn was named the overall grand champion market sheep showman.
“From start to finish he has been very consistent overall. He’s gonna be your champion showman,” said Korb.
Reach Ashley at the Record-Herald (740) 313-0355 or on Twitter @ashbunton