More than 80 market barrows entered the show ring at the Delaware County Fair Monday, but only one could be named the Grand Champion. That honor went to 17-year-old Carlissa Jenkins and her 271-pound hog.
For Jenkins, who is from Ashley and attends Buckeye Valley High School, it is her first Grand Champion award in her five-year show career. She began the day by winning her Heavyweight Division class and eventually the entire Heavyweight Division of the barrow judging to earn a spot in the final judging where the top overall market barrow was decided.
“It feels nice, still kind of unreal,” Jenkins said following the win. Asked what she felt the judge was looking for in a Grand Champion hog, she said the hog keeping its head up, as well as its feet not being flat-footed, are important, as is the overall soundness of the pig’s structure, of course.
“There’s a lot to do. It’s consistent, every day,” Jenkins said of the work that goes into raising a champion. “You can’t just start a week before the show and expect to come out here and do what they did today.”
Asked what her advice would be to anyone who would like to get into showing or has just started, she said, “Walk (the pigs) every day, work on keeping (the pig’s) head up when they’re out there (in the show ring.)”
Jenkins said she will be back next year with the hope of showing another Grand Champion.
Brodie Wheeler finished with both the Reserve Heavyweight Barrow Division Champion and the Reserve Champion Market Barrow with a pig that weighed in at 285 pounds.
Kase Tidd, who showed the Grand Champion Gilt and had the Grand Champion Barrow last year, had the Lightweight Barrow Division Champion with a hog weighing in at 247 pounds. Because he had already won the Gilt show, Tidd’s barrow was not eligible for the Grand Champion judging.
Andrew Eckard was awarded the Reserve Lightweight Barrow Division Champion for his 243-pound pig.
Braelyn Eckard made the final judging after her 260-pound hog was named the Middleweight Barrow Division Champion. Nolan Meyers was awarded the Reserve Middleweight Barrow Division Champion for his hog, which weighed in at 261 pounds.