Ava Case knew it was over when she stepped into the ring.
“That pig was crazy,” the 6-year-old Durham resident said. “He wouldn’t go anywhere I want him to.”
Case was just one of the exhibitors Saturday at the Centre FFA prospect show in Herington. While others had a chance to work with their pig before the show, Case said she didn’t have a chance to do too much with her animal because it wasn’t really hers.
“My cousin let me show her pig,” she said. “It was just showmanship.”
Case said that the best part of participating in the showmanship contest was the end.
“We got flashlights,” Case said as she shined the faint light into her mother’s eyes. “It lights up what’s dark. You can see down deep holes – or in the trash.”
Carly Drehr, 8, of Iola she had surveyed her competition and believed that she was a more serious showman than many of the other 4-H and FFA exhibitors.
“I worked with him every day,” she said of her Hampshire-Bluebutt cross. “I’d just practice by walking him around a bit and letting him get used to me poking him with the whip.”
Sure enough, as soon as she entered the ring, Drehr was all business. She never took her eyes off the judge or let her pig wander off — and it earned her reserve intermediate showman. The judge only had one criticism: she was too serious.
“It wouldn’t hurt for you to smile a little bit more,” judge Jarrod Gaines of Peabody told her. “I know you can do it. Let’s see you smile.”
Instantly, Drehr switched on her charm — and gave the judge an all-teeth smile.
“That’s it,” Gaines said. “I want to see that you’re having fun.”
Gaines said he was impressed with the overall quality of both the animals and the showmen.
“You have some pretty good animals here today, and some exceptional showmen,” he said. “They’re going to do well in their swine projects in the future.”
The two-day show also included meat goats, sheep, and beef cattle.
Case’s parents are Jessica Vannocker and Alan Accardi. Her grandparents from Hillsboro are Brad and Becky Vannocker.