EATON — Skyler Ward claimed her second Preble County Junior Fair Grand Showman of Showmen award last Thursday, Aug. 4, at the Preble County Fair.
This annual event culminates a week of shows for those who exhibit animals at the fair, as the competitor named best showman each in each species competes for the coveted title.
“It’s my last year so I was hoping I could win another time,” Ward, the daughter of Chad and Mindy Ward said on Thursday following her win.
This was Ward’s fourth year making it to the Grand Showman of Showmen event. “I won it my second year (2020) and I was second the other two years,” she added.
“I wasn’t as nervous. The more I’ve done it, the more comfortable I’ve been,” she said. “It also helped that I show four species, so I don’t have to, study as much. It helps me know what the people are going to ask and what to be prepared for.”
Skylar shows sheep, goats, pigs and cattle, and represented Monroe Better Livestock and NT FFA.
“I was happy to be in it again,” she said. “Being in it for years in a row, by itself is an accomplishment. So I’m happy to win.”
Skylar thanked her parents and everyone who helped her get to competition and earn the title.
In the fall, she will Lake Land College in Mattoon Illinois, to study animal science.
According to Jr. Fair rules, all Preble County Jr. Fair livestock exhibitors must participate in a showmanship class within their livestock department. These exhibitors are divided by age and evaluated on their performance with the animal, their knowledge of the animal, and the care that was given to their animal. All age class winners then compete for the department’s title of “Showman of Showmen.”
Livestock departments represented include beef cattle, sheep, goats, swine, rabbits, dairy cattle, equine, poultry and canine. The nine participating Showmen of Showmen compete for a belt buckle and the Grand Showman of Showmen title.
To win the title the participants must show each species except the one they are representing. The exhibitor who most successfully shows the seven competitive species is deemed the winner.
Also competing were:
•Belle Blevens, the poultry showman, representing Preble Shawnee FFA. She is the daughter of Bob Blevens and Ellen Garner.
•Kendall Lebo, the horse showman, representing Horses-R-Us. Kendall’s parents are Cody Lebo, Kaylee Lebo and Nicole Christianson.
•Madi Studebaker, the sheep showman, representing Preble County Livestock. She is the daughter of Brian and Mandi Studebaker.
•Makayla Morris, the swine showman, representing Somers Super Livestock. She is the daughter of Ben and Melissa Ballinger, and Seth Morris.
•Hannah Wells, the goat showman, representing Somers Super Livestock. Hannah is the daughter of Chris and Rebecca Wells.
•Cooper Roell, the dairy showman, representing Preble Shawnee FFA. Cooper’s parent’s are Tim and Mandy Roell.
•Ashley Lake, the dog showman, representing Tailwaggers 4-H Club. Ashley’s parents are Steve and Kathy Lake.
•Alyssa Zdobinski, the rabbit showman, representing Monroe Better Livestock and NT FFA. She is the daughter of Mark and Angela Zdobinski.