4-Hers show rabbits over two days at fair (WITH GALLERY)

Published 12:06 am Saturday, July 17, 2021

Belville is senior showman for second year

ROME TOWNSHIP — Each year, the rabbit competitions at the Lawrence County Fair tend to be the largest of the animal shows, with the most number of entrants.

Due to the short time it takes to raise them, they are a popular project for 4-H and FFA members, drawing a diverse mix of ages.

As is usually the case, the rabbit show is split over two days, taking place in the 4-H shelter at the end of the fair grounds.

On Monday, the market rabbit show was held, with Jocelyn Carpenter winning grand champion and Jonah Campbell coming in as reserve.

On Wednesday, the rabbit showman and breeding rabbits event took place, with members presenting their animals to judge Kevin Cooper.

Cooper said he has been judging rabbit competitions for 37 years.

“I started when I was 18,” he said.

In the showmanship judging, he said he looks for how the member is able to handle the animal.

“They really act like a showman,” he said. “They’re focused and their are eyes not looking out in the crowd at someone else.’

Several classes appeared before him and, after they were finished, Brea Belville, 17, was named senior showman.

This year’s first runner up for fair queen, she is also the president of the Lawrence County Junior Fair Board. She is in her eighth year of 4-H and has two more left to go.

The senior showman win was a repeat for her. She took the title at the last fair in 2019.

“And I was junior showman two years before,” she said.

This year’s junior showman was Kirsten Dome, 14, who was also the first runner up for fair princess this year. She is the vice president of Farm Hands 4-H club.

“I was very excited,” she said to learn of her win. “I knew there was a lot of competition in my class and others.”

Dome said this is her second year showing rabbits at the fair. She has been involved in 4-H for six years and has also shown goats in the past.

She has also won for a cooking and sewing project and her team won in the Livestock Bowl on Tuesday.

Wrapping up the event on Wednesday was the breeding rabbit competition.

Leah Gorby took the top two places with her rabbit and was named both grand and reserve champion.

Cooper described his thoughts on judging that competition.

“Each animal has a standard,” he said. “And you should look for and find the one to match that.”