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Skill brings wins in rabbit showmanship

(LEFT) Chase Baldwin took the top prize as junior showman in the rabbit category. (RIGHT) Zachary Hager took the top prize as senior showman in the rabbit category.

ROME TOWNSHIP — Exhibiting knowledge, confidence and skill were the reasons for choosing the winners of Wednesday’s rabbit showmanship competition for seniors and juniors.

Taking first place prize as the top showman in the senior category was Zachary Hager of Willow Wood and a member of the Soaring Eagles 4-H Club. This was the fifth year for Zachary to enter rabbits in the Junior Fair and the third time for him to take the top showman prize.

“I’m excited,” he said after winning his trophy. “It just takes a lot of study. I studied all day yesterday and every opportunity I could.”

It was that dedication to understanding every aspect of his breed of rabbit as well as the ability to handle his animal that impressed the show’s judge, Joey Martin of Beverly.

“I had some kids who had good knowledge but a few had the handing,” Martin said. “You have to know how to handle, how to turn them over. A lot of kids need to learn that you have to be firm. It is like training a dog.

“(Zachary) was very good, very knowledgeable and had a very good handling ability,” Martin said. “He had a broader expanded knowledge, multiple knowledge. He presented himself very strongly.”

Getting the junior showman trophy in the rabbit show was Chase Baldwin of Willow Wood and a member of the Scottown Farmers and Farmerettes. This was Chase’s first year to exhibit.

“I am really, really happy,” he said. “I am in shock. You just try to be your best.”

Jacinta Taulbee of Hocking County was the judge for the junior showman show.

“(Chase) was confident in what he was looking for and spoke with clarity,” she said on why she chose him as the top junior showman.

There were three senior classes and eight junior classes.