When 12-year-old Hayden Demniak of Carmichaels attends a lamb show, people stop and take notice.
At such a young age, Demniak is one to watch when it comes to raising and showing market lambs. This past weekend, Demniak added to his record, winning the 2013 Grand Champion Market Lamb award at the Pennsylvania State Farm Show in Harrisburg with his 159-pound lamb, Eclipse. That marked back-to-back wins of the title, as Demniak also won it in 2012.
When asked what his secret was, Demniak said he really didn’t have any secrets.
“I have just got a good dad and a good family that help me out a lot,” he said, noting he owed his parents and Gary Beatty’s Club Lambs a lot of credit. “Gary is always helping me out and giving me the best lambs he can and teaching me how to show them right.”
Eclipse is one of those lambs. Demniak said he named the lamb for its look.
“It is all white, but it has this one really big black spot that looked like the moon passing in front of the sun to me,” Demniak said.
The name, the look, whatever it was, Eclipse stood out in a field of more than 207 total entries. Demniak also garnered the Champion Crossbred Heavyweight and Champion Overall Crossbred awards with the lamb, at this, his third consecutive trip to the farm show. In his first outing in 2011, his lamb took the Reserve Champion Middleweight Award. Since then, the youngster, who is currently in his fifth year of 4-H competition with his lambs, has continued to be a force.
With two lambs in the Jackpot circuit over the summer, Demniak held the Grand Reserve or Reserve Overall award at every show he attended, except for one. At the end of the year, his lambs were number one and two in the state based on Pennsylvania Club Livestock Association Points.
“I got people knowing me that I don’t even know,” Demniak said. “They will walk up and go, ‘There’s Hayden.’ I know I am good, and I know they are good, too. You just have got to try your best and hope for the best.”
For now, Hayden has one more day to hang out and watch his friends compete, then it is back to school. The rest of the year will bring more jackpot competitions, fairs and undoubtedly more ribbons to the already seasoned champion.
Other Junior Market Lamb Show Champions included Champion Lightweight, Curtis Patton of Spraggs, Greene County, and Reserve Champion Middleweight, Bridget McConn of West Alexander, Washington County.