Showman crowned, sale a success as fair concludes


EATON —The 173rd Famous Preble County Fair came to end over the weekend as thousands of people gathered at the fairgrounds during the eight-day event, which concluded with Ashley Lake winning the Jr. Fair Grand Showman of Showmen, local business supporting 4-Her’s during the livestock sale and the traditional fair ending demolition derby.

Lake, a six-time Dog Showman, topped the field of nine showmen to win the coveted Showman of Showmen title on Thursday, Aug. 3.

“I just wanted to do my best,” Lake said after the show.

Lake said having competed in the even five times previously she learned a few things.

“Just stay calm. Don’t get worked up over anything. If something feels like it’s going bad, just do your best and try to do better next time,” she said.

Lake, a member of the Tailwagers 4-H Club, has one more year of 4-H left. She is the daughter of Steve and Kathy Lake.

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: Makayla Morris, the goat showman, is a member of Somers Super Livestock and is the daughter of Ben and Melissa Ballinger and Seth Morris; Paige House, the dairy showman, is a member of Preble Shawnee FFA and is the daughter of Chip House and Melissa Hudson; Boston Stapleton, the goat showman, is a member Somers Super Livestock and the daughter of Zach and Autumn Stapleton; Kendall Lebo, the horse showman, is the son of Cody and Kaylee Lebo and Nicole Christian; Brady Sorrell, the swine showman, is a member of the Ultimate Livestock 4-H Club and Eaton MVCTC FFA, is the son of Eric and Sara Sorrell; Jake Beneke, the poultry showman, is a member of the Preble County Dair Goat Club and is the son of Jamie and Dianna Beneke; Katie Bryant, the rabbit showman, is a member of the Bouncing Bunnies and Eaton FFA and the daughter of Angela and Darrell Bryant; Addison Campbell, the cattle showman, is a member of Eaton FFA and is the daughter of Andy and Darci Campbell.

On Friday, the Jr. Livestock Sale of Champions was held. Final totals have not been released since bidders had until Tuesday, Aug. 8 to add on to any project.

Josey Meeks sold the Grand Champion Market Rabbits for $1,800.

Zane Owens sold the Reserve Champion Market Rabbits for $2,500.

Makayla Morris sold the Grand Champion Market Goat for $1,600, while Boston Stapleton’s Reserve Champion Market Goat went for $1,000.

The Grand Champion Swine and Reserve Champion Swine were both sold by Hunter Wells with the grand champion bringing in $4,000 and the reserve $1,600.

The Jr. Fair Board Hog, which was donated by Rick and Jan Buehner and Family, sold for $2,400.

Nicole Eiler sold the Grand Champion Market Beef for $7,000, while the reserve champion was sold by Emma Helsinger for $3,000.

Bentlee McCain’s Grand Champion Market Lamb sold for $1,500, while Haley Davidson’s reserve champion went for $2,000.

Cooper Roell’s Grand Champion Market Broiler sold for $2,500 and Kasen Cole’s reserve champions sold for $2,500.

Evan Baker sold the Grand Champion Market Turkey for $3,000 and Josey Meeks reserve champions sold for $2,100.

“I’m glad to see everybody here. We appreciate all the support we get from you every year,” Mike Dare, a member of the Jr. Fair sales committee, said.

Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on Twitter @emowenjr.

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