Local girl’s heifer takes home top award at Ohio State Fair

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 16, 2015

Ten-year-old Malaysha Kitts and her breeding heifer took home first place in the breeding heifer open show at the Ohio State Fair this past Sunday. This was Malaysha’s first year showing cows at the state fair.

“She just loves animals,” said Brandon Kitts, Malaysha’s father.

Before this year, Malaysha showed hogs at the county fair but turned her sights to showing cows after being introduced to it by Chelsey Keathley who owns the farm where Malaysha got her heifer.

“When (Malaysha) started playing with cows, she was in love,” said Kitts.

Kitts said that his daughter spent a lot of time training her heifer for the show and devotes time to keeping her heifer’s coat in good condition.

“It takes a lot of time, hours and hours of practicing,” said Kitts. “She washes it. She blows drys (its hair) and combs it out.”

During the open show at the fair, Malaysha and over a dozen other young people competed to win first place and had to know how to show their animals based upon what the judges look for in a winner.

“(Judges) sometimes ask questions,” said Kitts.

Judges look at the build of the cow and watch to see how the cow works in the arena, said Kitts.

“They usually ask about the particular cow,” said Kitts. “That’s one of the key things—knowing about your cow.”

Malaysha had to be prepared to answer questions about her cow’s age and pedigree.

Kitts didn’t anticipate that his daughter would take home first place in the show.

“It was great,” said Kitts. “We were tickled to death.”

“She didn’t know (she had won),” said Kitts. “She was super excited.”

Kitts credits his daughter’s win with hard work and the support of Mike and Chelsey Keathley who own the heifer and said that groomer Nate Lambert played a key part in getting the heifer prepped for the fair.

“He hauled her animal up there,” said Kitts.

Kitts anticipates that showing cows will continue to be in his daughter’s future.

“She’ll show until she’s too old to show,” said Kitts.