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July 21, 2010

Queen reigns supreme in showmanship

ALEXANDRIA, Ind. — From high heels and a tiara to work boots and a plaid shirt, the 2010 Madison County 4-H queen proved she was the best in showmanship.

Autumn Brown, 17, of Pendleton, was one of four competitors during Wednesday night’s Supreme Showmanship competition. The four 4-H’ers showed pigs, cows, goats and sheep during the nearly hour-long competition.

When the judge declared competitor number three as the winner, Brown looked from side to side to see who to congratulate before realizing that she was actually the winner.

“Is that me?” she shouted, hands to her face in surprise.

After the competition Brown said she was shocked to win, thinking she’d done a terrible job during the show.

“I thought there was no way that I would win,” Brown said, laughing. “It is a great experience though. I love showing. It is always a lot of fun. So this was a great experience to be able to show all of the species at one time.”

Each of the four participants were the champions in showmanship in each of the four categories. To level the playing field, the organizers provided all of the equipment the participants used to handle the animals. And the animals they showed didn’t belong to the competitors but instead were donated by other 4-H’ers for the competition.

Brandon Brunt, 16, of Summitville, has been in 4-H for seven years. He’s always worked toward earning his way into the competition.

“It is a neat experience,” he said. “I’ve dreamed of being in this since I was a little kid. So even though I didn’t win, I was so happy just to be here. I’m proud to be a part of this.”

In addition to showing the animals, the four were judged on answering questions about the animals during the competition and also their answer to the question of what their best 4-H memory is.

Mariah Shearer, of Pendleton, told the story of how she was initiated when she first showed cows by being thrown into the cattle tank.

“It took a lot of people to get me in there,” she joked. “I didn’t want to go in.”

Wade Hendricks, of Elwood, said his best 4-H memory isn’t from a single competition or moment but instead is about the friendships made through the organization.

Contact Abbey Doyle, 640-4840, abbey.doyle@heraldbulletin.com.

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