A Family Daily Double
Published 11:24 am Thursday, July 16, 2009
ROME TOWNSHIP — Once is good, but twice is nice.
Outlasting 32 exhibitors and the rapidly rising humidity, brothers Josh and Brandon Craft defied the odds Wednesday night to take grand and reserve champion in the market steer show at the 2009 Lawrence County Fair.
In front of an overflow crowd that saw its stands filled to capacity 45 minutes before the end gate opened, the Craft brothers used experience, a supportive fan base and prepared steers to walk away with the popular show’s top two honors.
“This is very exciting, a lot of hard work went into this,” said Josh Craft whose market steer was awarded grand champion by fair judge John Grimes after winning his preliminary class in the 1,294-1,338 pound weight level.
The 16-year-old Symmes Valley High School student said he was proud of the preparation he put into this year’s entry. He also was thrilled for his 12-year-old brother who joined him in the post-show celebration with his own reserve champion steer.
“I am really, really happy,” Brandon Craft said following the show. “I’m happy it was my brother and I at the end. We both worked very hard on this.”
Brandon Craft made it to the final after winning the 1,342-1,369 pound class.
Before naming the brother’s steers grand and reserve champion, Grimes spent several minutes walking back and forth between the six finalists’ steers, running his hand down each of their sides several times checking conformation.
Grimes was very appreciative of each entry and took the time to offer his compliments and suggestions to each exhibitor and the audience on what he saw in each animal. The Hillsboro, Ohio resident was very deliberate and meticulous in his judging.
Following the show, Grimes also judged the market steer showmanship classes. Divided into four senior showmanship classes and three junior classes, exhibitors now were the ones being judged.
Taking top honors in the senior showmanship classes was 17-year-old Justin Payne. Payne, who attends Symmes Valley High School, said he had a good feeling he did well after the class.
“I worked very hard and it paid off,” Payne said.
Snapping up top junior market steer showmanship honors was 9-year-old Matison Klaiber.
In only her first year of showing, the Symmes Valley Elementary School student said emotions got the best of her when her name was called.
“I was so excited I started to cry,” Klaiber said. “I worked hard for this and practiced a lot.”
Market Steer Show
Class One (Under 1,220 pounds): Tiara Hatfield
Class Two (1,221-1,269 pounds): Jared Bruce
Class Three (1,270-1,291 pounds): Cody Myers
Class Four (1,294-1,338 pounds): Josh Craft
Class Five (1,342-1,369 pounds): Brandon Craft
Class Six (1,385-1,621 pounds): Zachary Sloan
Market Steer Show Final
Grand Champion: Josh Craft
Reserve Champion: Brandon Craft
Third Place: Cody Myers
Fourth Place: Zachary Sloan
Fifth Place: Jared Bruce
Sixth Place: Chelsey Keathley
Seventh Place: Krysta Thompson
Eighth Place: Evan Herrell
Ninth Place: Kasey Walker
Tenth Place: Autumn Keathley
Market Steer Showmanship
Class One: Justin Payne
Class Two: Chelsey Keathley
Class Three: Evan Herrell
Class Four: Kasey Walker
Champion: Justin Payne
Class Five: Uriah Christian
Class Six: Brenna Morris
Class Seven: Matison Klaiber
Champion: Matison Klaiber