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Huddle takes top lamb honors

ROME TOWNSHIP - The third time was the charm for Julie Huddle thanks to some help from Mount Olympus.

Huddle's lamb Zeus was selected as this year's grand champion lamb at the Lawrence County Fair this year, the third year in which Huddle showed lambs. The 17-year-old Rock Hill High School graduate who will attend Ohio University Southern this fall, will also compete in this year's Showman of Showmen competition. Huddle, an Ironton resident, took home last year's trophy in that competition.

"It hasn't fully set it yet," Huddle said of her win. "Well, it has, and it hasn't."

Huddle said she plans to use the money she receives from this year's animal sale toward college or rodeo. Huddle is the 2003 Miss Rodeo Ohio. She also complimented her family who have taken care of her lambs while she has been away on rodeo trips.

LaTosha Hatfield, 10, of Waterloo has this year's reserve champion lamb, Davidson. Hatfield has shown lambs for three years, and this is her second reserve champion.

"He's a little jumpy," she said of her lamb.

After this year's animal sale, Hatfield said she plans to put her money in a bank and save it. Until then, her father will reward her with a pizza party. As her father walked away with her trophy, she yelled, "Daddy! Give me the trophy and get the lamb!"

Eighteen children showed 35 lambs this year, Laura Jane Murphy, Lawrence County's Ohio State University extension agent for 4-H, said. Even though lambs are smaller than some of the other project animals, Murphy said raising and working with a lamb is hard. During the lamb competitions, children hold the lamb around its head and neck and no harness is used.

"It's hard, I'll tell you. I did it for 10 years," Murphy said. "You spend a lot of time working with them; it's very intensive."

The lamb competition was judged by Bob Hare of Winchester, the judge for the market goat competition.