EATON — For many Junior Fair participants, it’s the livestock show they set their sights on each year: Grand Showman of Showmen. This annual event culminates a week of shows for those who exhibit animals at the Preble County Fair, as the competitor named best showman each in each species competes for the coveted title.
Claire Sorrell, a 12-year member of 4-H, won the prize as the top Showman.
The 2021 Grand Showman of Showmen contest took place Thursday, Aug. 5, in the new Bullen Equestrian Center at the Preble County Fairgrounds.
Sorrell, a member of the Ultimate Livestock Club and Eaton MVCTC FFA, was the Dairy Showman. She is the daughter of Eric and Sara Sorrell.
“I was a little bit shocked. Not going to lie because Skyler is a really good showman,” Sorrell said of winning and topping last year’s showman Skyler Ward. “I thought I had a chance (to win) but I wasn’t expecting it.”
Sorrell also competed in the Showman event last year.
“It helped me study what I needed to know more,” she said. “I put in a lot of work in during the summer [and] I’ve been [showing] since I was able to walk. It means a lot to be able to show my skills everybody.”
She said 4-H has been a big part of her life and as has her support system.
“It’s taught me a bunch of responsibilities and what to do and stuff like that,” she said. “I want to thank my family. Everybody who’s helped me out this year. They’ve done a lot for me at this fair.”
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 was Skyler Ward, daughter of Chad and Mindy Ward. She was the goat showman and represented Monroe Better Livestock and National Trail MVCTC FFA; Hailey Wells, daughter of Chris And Rebecca Wells. She was the hog showman and represented Somers Super Livestock; Katie Bryant, daughter of Angela and Darrell Bryant. She was the rabbit showman and represented Bouncing Bunnies; Maid Studebaker, daughter of Brian and Mandi Studebaker. She was the sheep showman and represented Preble County Livestock; Jenna Klingenberger, daughter of Clarissa and Andy Klingenberger. She was the horse showman and represented Preble County Patriots; Ashley Lake, daughter of Steve and Kathy Lake. She was the dog showman and represented Tailwagers; Emma Helsinger, daughter of Collin and Jessica Helsinger. She was the beef showman and represented Ultimate Livestock; Jolene Bendel, daughter of Jennifer and Jeremy Bendel. She was the poultry showman and represented Spic N Span Pots and Pans and Preble Shawnee FFA.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on Twitter @emowenjr