EATON — In one of the mostly hotly-contested Grand Showman of Showmen competitions in Preble County Fair history, Skyler Ward was crowned champion after eight grueling rounds of showmanship on Thursday, Aug. 6.
Ward won with a final score of 20, taking first place in four of the eight species, though the final scores among the top five contestants was just a six-point spread.
“I’m good,” she said immediately after the win. “Yeah, I’m feeling really excited right now.”
Having been involved with 4-H for 11 years, she said that it meant a lot for her to earn this accomplishment.
One advantage Ward had over her peers was that this was not her first appearance in this show.
She competed in 2019 but fell short of the crown and was more prepared than ever heading into this year’s contest.
“I was in it last year for the first time and after putting so much work into it, and then getting beat, it was hard to do it again this year, but I pushed through it, and I’m happy I won,” she said.
Ward was the 2020 Beef Showman and also shows goats and lambs, so she was closely familiar with many of the species under her control Thursday night.
“I thought I did good with like goats and lambs, just because I already showed them, but I definitely struggled with poultry because that’s just all knowledge and it’s a lot to learn in such a short time,” she said.
Having competed in two Showman of Showman competitions now and experiencing the thrill of winning it all, she had some advice for those who will step into the ring in the future.
“For one, you’ve gotta win that species first, and then once you get into it, just study as much as you can and get hands-on experience and learn your questions and all that and just be prepared for when you go in,” she said.
Showman of Showmen Participants
Emily Dungan is the 2020 Poultry Showman. A member of Somers Super Beef, she has been a 4-H member for 11 years. She is the daughter of Chris Dungan & Dave and Trudy Kendel.
Wyatt House is the 2020 Sheep Showman. A member of Allstar Livestock, he has been a member of 4-H for eight years. He is the son of Lyndsay and Clinton House.
Ashley Lake is the 2020 Dog Showman. A member of Tailwaggers 4-H, she has been involved in 4-H for seven years. She is the daughter of Steve and Kathy Lake.
Kendall Lebo is the 2020 Horse Showman. A member of Horses-R-Us, he has been a 4-H member for four years. He is the son of Cody Lebo.
Makayla Morris is the 2020 Goat Showman. A member of Somer Super Livestock, she has been involved in 4-H for eight years. She is the daughter of Melissa & Ben Ballinger and Seth Morris.
Claire Sorrell is the 2020 Dairy Showman. She is a member of Ultimate Livestock and has been a 4-H member for nine years. She is the daughter of Sara and Eric Sorrell.
Harlie Turpin is the 2020 Rabbit Showman. She is a member of Preble County Livestock and has been involved in 4-H for 10 years. She is the daughter of Rob & Candi Turnpin and Wendy & Brent Buckley.
In addition to being named Showman of Showmen, Skyler Ward is the 2020 Beef Showman. A member of Monroe Better Livestock and National Trail MVCTC FFA, she has been involved in 4-H for 11 years. She is the daughter of Mindy and Chad Ward.
Hailey Wells is the 2020 Swine Showman. A member of Somers Super Livestock, she has been involved in 4-H for seven years. She is the daughter of Chris and Rebecca Wells.
Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @BradenMoles