Kasi Payton won the Grand Champion Market Lamb trophy at Thursday afternoon’s Fayette County Junior Fair Sheep Show and Austin Etzler’s market lamb won Reserve Champion.
Payton, a member of the Blue Ribbon Champs 4-H Club, said this is her first year showing lambs. “I’m just really happy. It’s been a really fun and exciting day,” she said.
Etzler, a member of the Jeff All-Arounders 4-H Club, has been showing lambs for two years. This year, his Shropshire lamb also won First Place Live Evaluation in the performance review. Etzler’s lamb was chosen as the lamb whose carcass would cut the best.
Cody Clyburn was named best Overall Sheep Showman during the Market Lamb Showman drive in the morning. Clyburn is taking sheep through FFA (Future Farmers of America) and has been showing sheep for two years.
“This is just awesome,” Clyburn said. “I can’t say thank you enough. This is my second year showing and it’s just been great. I’m just so excited. I hope we can carry this through to the market show.”
The show began at 10 a.m. with the Breeding show where Cade Lindsey won Overall Champion Ewe with his Crossbred Yearling Ewe.
Abbi Brandt won Overall Purebred with her Dorset Ewe Lamb and went on to compete for Overall Champion.
“I’m just so excited,” Brandt said. “I am very proud to have come so far with my Dorset Ewe and I can’t wait to see how far we can go today. It’s a great day and we’re very happy and thankful to be here!”
Bailey Perrill was named Overall Showman at the Breeding Showmanship Show, with Mackenzie Cory being named runner-up showman.
Perrill was the only showman to enter in the senior class. In the junior class, Brandt, Lindsey Cory, and Etzler all competed against each other, with Cory coming out on top, Lindsey earning second place, Etzler earning third place, and Brandt placing fourth.
Perrill is with the Jeff All-Arounders and has been showing for about 14 years.
“I’m just really excited,” Perrill said. “Just very, very, excited.”
The show was judged by Curt Caplinger, of Eaton. Caplinger graduated from Colby College in Colby, Kansas, where he competed on the Wool Judging Team. Caplinger has been a sheep producer for 35 years and is a founding member of the Ohio Club Lamb Association and judged many county and regional sheep shows.
Caplinger spent time with each showman, asking questions and giving tips to help improve their techniques.
The afternoon’s Market Lamb Show had 17 classes: One AOB (all other breeds), one Oxford, one White Faced Cross, two Hampshire, two Natural, one Shropshire, one Suffolk, six Crossbred, and one class for all breeds over 140 pounds.
Susanna Eckstein showed in the AOB class and won champion. Laura Ginn won Champion Oxford and Ray Melvin won Reserve Oxford. Katelyn Hicks won Champion White Faced Cross and Wyatt Cory won Reserve White Faced Cross. Thaddeus Stuckey won Champion Hampshire and Laura Ginn was named Reserve Hampshire. In the Natural class, Weston Melvin won Champion and Jacob Hoppes won Reserve.
Etzler won Champion Shropshire, with Kasi Payton winning Reserve. Weston Melvin won Champion Suffolk, and Elizabeth Garren won Reserve Suffolk. Clyburn won Champion Crossbred, with Weston Melvin winning Reserve.
Finally, in the Heavyweight class, Kasi Payton’s lamb was named Champion and Thaddeus Stuckey took Reserve.
“I know it’s been a long day,” Caplinger said. “But I have always thought Fayette County had a great lamb show, and these boys and girls definitely have a bright future ahead of themselves. There is going to be some great showmen in the next couple years with these guys. I really appreciate getting the opportunity to come down and see how this program and these guys have grown.”
At the end of the show, Caplinger named the Grand Champion and placed the remaining top five market lambs. Following the grand and reserve champions, Cody Clyburn came in third place, Kasi Payton came in fourth place, and Weston Melvin came in fifth place.
Reach Kellee Bonnell at (740) 335-0355 or on Twitter @newskelleebee.