That’s some pig

Published 11:27 am Sunday, July 13, 2014

Humphreys, McMackin hog spotlight


ROME TOWNSHIP — The 2014 Hog Show had the same end result as the year before as Hunter Humphreys brought home back-to-back grand championships in the competition.

“It is great to win,” Humphreys said. “It feels pretty good. Not as good as when I won my first grand championship but still pretty cool.”

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Humphreys’ winning hog, “Cali,” was almost left out of the competition entirely and required the equivalent of a post draft trade to bring the pig to Team Humphreys.

“My dad and I had bought two pigs but were kind of torn on this one hog,” Humphreys said. “We were on our way home with the two pigs and were both feeling kind of sick that we didn’t get Cali. So we turned around and went back and asked if they would do a trade. So we traded two hogs for one.”

The trade turned out to be a smart move on the Humphreys’ part as Cali was named grand champion in what the judge called an “as-close-as-it-gets” competition between Humphreys and reserve champ Evan McMackin. McMackin claimed the reserve prize with a 272-pound hog while overcoming health concerns along the way.

“It feels awesome,” McMackin said. “I worked really hard. My family tried to talk me out of getting the pig that won but they didn’t know what they were talking about.”

Raising a winning show hog requires getting the swine to a perfect weight as well as getting the pig comfortable with its movements in the ring. Finding that balance took Humphreys about five years.

“You want to make sure they weigh in right,” Humphreys said. “You don’t want them to be overweight or underweight and you also have to get them out and exercise them so they can move good. Always have to make sure they keep their heads up in the show arena so it’s about trying lots of different things.”