High on the hog

Published 12:13 pm Friday, July 17, 2015

ROME TOWNSHIP — During the hog showmanship competition on Thursday at the Lawrence County Fair, 4-H members showed off their hogs and all their hard work. The showmanship competition was broken down into both junior and senior divisions

Hog showmanship judge Emily Limes looked for particular qualities when it came to evaluating contestants. Limes, who has years of experience showing and raising hogs, looked for contestants who kept their hogs in the center of the ring and kept eye contact with her while showing their pig. Limes gave contestants advice about improving their showmanship skills.

This year, 14-year-old Kara Saunders took home the trophy for senior hog showmanship winner.

Saunders enjoys the showman competition and said she is “really competitive” when it comes to showing hogs. Saunders, who has shown hogs for three years, spent months working with her hog in order to prepare for the competition.

“(I) just practice with them every day,” said Saunders.

To prepare for being in the ring with other hogs and their showman, Saunders set up a practice area in her barn and trained her pig to go through the obstacles.

When training a hog, Saunders focuses upon “getting the pig used to (her),” something Saunders does by spending time out in the barn with her hog.

“I like going out and sitting with them. They’re really like big dogs,” she said.

Saunders is looking forward to the showman of showmen competition where she will compete against all other fair showmanship winners

The event requires showman to show animals from categories entered in the fair.

When she won the junior hog showman competition, Chastity Adams’ work paid off.

“I work with them all year,” said Adams. “I think they’re fun to show and fun to take care of.”

Adams is dedicated to training winning pigs and tries to focus on making eye contact with the judge and keeping a good chest view when in the ring, both elements that judges look for in a winner.

Adams anticipated that the show wouldn’t be easy to win because there were a lot of strong competitors.

Adams looks forward to continuing her career as a hog showman.

“I’ll show pigs until I’m 18,” said Adams.