PREBLE COUNTY — The 2015 Preble County Fair Sale of Champions broke three sales records this year, as the auction brought in a total of $45,350 to the sellers on Friday, Aug. 7.
Nearly a fourth of that money was from the sale of Carson Shafer’s grand champion steer, which sold for a record $10,000.
Carson, who is a member of All Star Livestock, was unable to be at the sale because he was showing at the state fair, but his older brother Cody said this steer was a special one for the Shafer family.
“It’s special to have him born on our own farm, raise him as a calf, wean him, and bring him home,” he said. “Some people offered to buy him but we wanted to keep him and bring him here and try to win the county fair with one we’ve raised. We’ve won it before but not with one we’ve raised. It feels good. It’s different.”
Other record breaking sales included the sale of the junior fair board hog that was donated by Becky and Mike Henning, and Garrett Eiler’s reserve champion steer. The hog sold for $5,500 and Eiler’s steer sold for $8,200.
Allie Hamilton, grand champion for the market hog, enjoyed the experience of the week as well.
“I was definitely not expecting to be grand champion,” said Hamilton, who was tossed off her horse earlier in the week and had to have her friend show the hog for her.
But even with the injury, Hamilton still had a good week.
“It’s definitely worth the experience. It’s a lot of fun,” she said.
Hamilton is a member of Top of the Line and earned $2,700 for her livestock.
Tyler Caplinger, a member of All Star Livestock, has been showing for 10 years and was finally able to secure the grand champion award for market lamb.
“I’ve had reserve (champion) before but that doesn’t even compare to this. Today has just been phenomenal. All the support I have behind me, all the people that have helped me get to this point in my life, has just been awesome,” he said. “(This week) has a lot of life lessons that you learn – the easy way and the hard way – there’s been a lot going into this week.”
Caplinger sold his lamb for $5,000.
Emily Rutherford, a 4-H parent, saw the day as a learning opportunity for her son, Griffen Bridgeford.
Bridgeford, who represented Somers Super Beef, was the reserve champion for his feeder calf and took home $1800 at the auction.
“For the kids, it’s great to get the calves as they are little. It does take a lot of care into building them up this big,” said Rutherford. “All the hard work he puts in during the summer does pay off. He may complain about going out and feeding and watering and washing it every day, but it does pay off in the end.”
Other champions were as follows: Katelyn Meeks, from Cloverettes, sold her grand champion market rabbits for $1,600; Jasmine Dotson, from Poultry Pride and Livestock Club, sold her reserve champion market rabbits for $1,250; Kara Burton, from All Star Livestock, sold her grand champion market goat for $1,700; Allie Unger from Monroe Better Livestock sold her reserve champion market goat for $2,300; Shaw Hawkey from Somers Super Beef sold his reserve champion market hog for $2,700, and Alisha Rader from All Star Livestock sold her reserve champion market lamb for $2,600.
No poultry projects were auctioned off at the sale due to the statewide poultry ban at local and state fairs. Donations were made to the poultry exhibitors, with the funds being distributed evenly to the participants.
Jeremy Erskine may be reached at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @jerskine_RH.