WAYNESBURG – Bryn Patton struggled to hold back tears when the judge signaled her 136-pound lamb, Antonio, was chosen as the grand champion of the 2014 4-H Market Lamb Show Wednesday at the Greene County Fair.
A 12-year-old daughter of Randy and Michelle Patton of Waynesburg, Bryn endured a long night in the fairground’s livestock barn, as did the 64 other 4-Hers who had high hopes of capturing the top award in the show.
Patton, who will be a seventh-grade student at Margaret Bell Miller Middle School in the fall, said it took a lot of work to get her lamb ready to compete. “It had to be fed, groomed and exercised every day.” And when asked if she thought she could win the top prize this year, she responded, “I sure I hoped I would.”
Patton also walked away with another crown this year, winning the title of Young Miss in the Greene County Pageant earlier this year. Patton also won the photogenic, sportswear and talent awards, as well as receiving the Director’s Award for raising the most money in advertising sponsorships among all contestants. She received a trophy and $300 prize.
Perhaps it was winning the pageant title that gave her the confidence to enter the show ring, confidence that gave her the ability to show her animal to the judge at its best.
Her lamb was given the chance to vie for the top prize after earlier being chosen the winner of the heavy heavyweight division and champion of the heavyweight division.
Showing the reserve grand champion was Lexie Mooney, 14, whose 129-pound lamb earlier was crowned middleweight champion.
Mooney, daughter of Heath and Denise Mooney of Sycamore, will be a freshman at West Greene Junior-Senior High School.
The 65 lambs entered in Wednesday’s show were divided into three weight classes for judging, and a champion and reserve champion were selected in each division. From the six champions and reserve champions, the overall grand champion and reserve grand champion were chosen.
The judge examined each animal closely, gauging its stature, muscle and finish and took time to explain to each participant what he liked about his or her animal.
Showing the champion of the lightweight lamb was Ryan Greco and presenting the lightweight reserve champion was Gavin Husentis.
The reserve champion in the middleweight division was a lamb shown by Curtis Patton and shoeing the reserve champion in the heavyweight division was Hannah Cole.
The 33 steers showed Tuesday at the 4-H Market Steer Show and the 65 lambs from Wednesday’s completion were sold at auction Thursday in the livestock barn.