Livestock Extravaganza lures elite
HARRINGTON, Del. — From the hundreds of market animals junior exhibitors brought to the Centenniel Delaware State Fair, only a few could be named Grand Champion or Reserve Champion at the fair’s Livestock Extravaganza.
“Enjoy this evening,” sheep judge Evan Snyder told exhibitors in the fair’s Kent Building on July 23. “Not everyone is going to stand first or second at the Delaware State Fair, not with this level of competition.”
Snyder and the three other judges for the four market classes, wearing tuxedo jackets and bow ties, praised the youths, their families and fair volunteers for having great passion in raising and showing livestock.
“What a spectacle,” said swine judge Jeremy Jones from La Fontaine, Ind. “There’s no better place to raise a kid than in the livestock project. You should be very very proud in where you sit for the future of Delaware agriculture.”
“This project put me through college and it is now my livelihood,” added Snyder.
After surveying the group of 20 first and second place hogs, Jones chose the hog shown by Brayden Hearn of Laurel, Del., as the Grand Champion.
Reserve Champion went to the hog shown by Courtney Sarlouis of Magnolia, Del.
Pared down from 481 sheep entries to 20 first and second place class winners, Snyder chose the lamb shown by McKenna Vest from Clayton, Del., as grand champion and the entry of McKenna Breeding of Felton, Del., as Reserve Champion.
After starting with 671 entries in the fair’s market goat show Judge Bob Hare of Winchester, Ohio, looked over the top 32 entries in the Extravaganza ring and picked the entries shown by Shelby Poore of Harrington, Del., as for Grand Champion and Colby Wilson of Georgetown, Del. as Reserve Champion.
In the market steer group, judge Jeffrey Keifer of Bangor, Pa., reviewed the final six entries from the market steer show and chose the entires of Taylor Brittingham of Smyrna, Del., as Grand Champion and Cole Olsen of Pocomoke, Md., as Reserve Champion.
The final part of the extravaganza, selection of Overall Showman, brought back into the ring Olsen as the top swine showman, Hearn as top sheep showman, Poore as the goat showmanship winner, along with Rylee Ridgely of Wyoming, Del., as the beef champion showman.
After watching the showmen work with each of the four market species in the ring and conferring with each other, the judges named Olsen the Overall Champion Showman, an award he also took home from last year’s fair.
With a lasting smile after taking photos and receiving congratulatory hugs, Olsen reflected on the amount of work it takes to compete for top showman.
“It’s every day, all day long,” he said. “Showmanship is the key to succeeding in so many other classes.” Olsen added he shares the award with his father, Darren.
“He’s pushed me to be better the whole way through,” Olsen said.
In a reprisal of a past fair tradition, winners from the Livestock Extravaganza came back for a Parade of Champions on Friday, July 26 in the Quillen Arena.