Hope and Skill Win State Fair Supreme Livestock Showmanship

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There was livestock on the floor of the Indiana Farmers Coliseum Friday night at the state fair, but on this occasion the audience and judges were gauging the 4-H member, not the animal. Six contestants hit the dirt to display their skills in the Supreme Livestock Showmanship competition, and 9-year 4-H’er Hope Flaspohler of Franklin County took the top prize.

“I’m really excited,” she told HAT. “My cow got loose a couple of times, but I had to stay calm. How you handle it is really what’s going to pull you through.”

With the emphasis on the exhibitor’s control over each animal, she wasn’t concerned about the cow getting loose, but how well she could remain composed and regain control.

“I’ve competed at our county level this year and sheep have gotten loose, but kids have won, so it’s kind of one of those things. Judges know that you probably haven’t shown two of the species before, so it’s really about how you act when those kinds of things go wrong. So, I try to stay calm, stay cool and collected and just not let it bug how I was going to show.”

Hope had the most experience showing hogs and sheep and she scored highest in those species. She credited her sisters and parents for helping provide her with showmanship experience and raising her in this lifestyle she has come to love.

This year’s sheep judge was Katie Barnett who told us she not only looks for confidence and control, but a good dialogue too.

“Always make sure that their animal is presentable at all times,” she explained. “I have the kids switch sides and sometimes that’s hard because it’s outside of their comfort zone. Then I ask them a question, just a simple what do you look for in a market lamb, just to see where their knowledge and education base was.”

The reserve supreme showman Bryce Hayden of Jasper County. Other participants were Alyssa Sobasky, Noble County, Evan McClain, Delaware County, Brooke Hayden, Jasper County, and Bailey Taylor from Noble County.

See more in the HAT YouTube video.