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Ironton teen is named first Junior Showman of Showmen

Fourteen-year-old Kelsey Huddle thought she was going to lose to a chicken but earned a place in history as the Lawrence County Fair’s first Junior Showman of Showmen.

“I’m about to fall over. I was so nervous I didn’t think I was going to get it,” the Ironton-area youth said with a sigh. “And then the chicken kept trying to fly away.

Kelsey, the only female contestant, had earned her place in the competition showing her lambs but said she enjoyed the chance to work with other animals as well.

The showmen competition judges contestants on their ability to work with six animals: Steer, hogs, rabbits, chickens, goats and lambs.

“All my friends and family helped me a bunch,” Kelsey said. “The fair has been pretty fun. I get to take care of my lambs and mess around with different animals.”

While the senior Showman of Showmen is a county fair staple, this is the first year for the junior honor.

“When I see something good, I think I should applaud those who put it on,” said Ben Coleman, treasurer of the Lawrence County Agricultural Society. “This is something that gives the junior showmen an extra something. I think we saw minimal animal participation, which is great, but maximum human participation.”

For Kelsey, the competition was a little intimidating because she had only limited exposure to the other animals.

“Once I knew was going to be in it, that night worked with rabbits and chickens. That night worked with feeder calf. Worked with pig about 30 minutes,” she said. “But I think chicken scared me the worst.”

Other contestants in the competition were Zachary Hagar, Kyle Coleman, Jonathan Keathley, Cody Myers and Josh Craft.