The 2020 Delaware County Junior Fair is in the books, and a select few exhibitors were lucky enough to take home grand champion honors in their particular shows. In the lamb event, that champion had a familiar look as Aubrey Altizer took home the award for the second consecutive year with a 145-pound lamb.
Altizer, an eighth grade student at Big Walnut Middle School, is in her fourth year of showing, and she is a member of the Eagle Country 4-H Club. She said of taking home the award once more, “It feels pretty good.”
Altizer began showing as a way to spend time with a friend who was showing animals, she said, originally showing goats. She then made the move to sheep, where she has continued to focus her show career, and for good reason. That she has managed to show back-to-back champions didn’t happen by chance, given how much time she and her family spend evaluating the lambs.
“Once they are born, we go and look at them a lot,” Altizer said. “We’re there, like, every weekend, just looking at them grow and watching them through all of their stages.”
Asked what judges are looking for in a champion lamb, Altizer said, a “flat top, muscle, and big butt with a nice, clean front.”
She added that well-distributed weight is also a key judging point, and her lamb was a “good combination of all (the judging points).”
As for how her two champion lambs stack up against each other, Altizer said each lamb had qualities the other didn’t.
“I think last year’s champion had some pieces that this one didn’t, but I think this one had pieces (last year’s lamb) didn’t,” she said. “The one I had this year just had pieces that overcame the one that won last year.”
Altizer’s biggest competition to repeating with the grand champion lamb came from her own sister, Ella, who wound up showing the reserve grand champion. She said of being able to show with her younger sister, “It’s pretty fun, this year especially, for us both to be able to walk out of the ring and have both places.”
Despite the vastly different look and feel to the Delaware County Fair this year, Altizer said she didn’t notice much of a change as it pertained to the junior fair and her event.
”When you’re in the ring, you’re mainly just focused on showing and not worrying about your mask,” she said. “Other than the fair being shorter, and there not being a lot of spectators, I didn’t really notice the change.”
Altizer’s advice for anyone who is interested in showing boils down to two simple qualities: a willingness to work hard, and having a passion for the work being done.
“That’s what I think sets me aside from a lot of people, I enjoy doing it,” she said.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.