Friday's 4-H/FFA Beef Heifer Show and Open Class Beef Cattle Show 'Grade A' at Ag Expo
Fourteen-year-old Rachel Clark of Mercersburg, Pa., took home the prize for her grand champion heifer. (By Karen Mawdsley / July 26, 2013)
Children ages 8 to 18 paraded around the show arena, showing off their best beef heifers to judge Ruth Boden.
More than 80 onlookers watched Boden, 45, scrutinize the heifers.
The Clear Brook, Va., resident, who has been judging heifers since she was 9 years old, knew what she was looking for: structural correctness, femininity, volume, depth of body and muscle, she said after the show.
Boden noted she was pleased with the competition.
“I’ve traveled to many shows across the country, and your 4-H-ers could stand up with the best of them,” Boden said, addressing the audience.
However, what differentiated the winners was their completeness, Boden said.
“They all have parts that you like, but you’re looking for the one with the most parts that best represent their breed,” she said.
From each of the two major competition sections — 4-H/FFA and open class — grand champion and reserve grand champion heifers were selected.
Of the 4-H/FFA entrants, competition was narrowed to seven breed finalists.
Fourteen-year-old Rachel Clark of Mercersburg, Pa., took home the prize for her grand champion heifer, followed by Lonnie Thomas, who won reserve grand champion.
Breed winners also included Shane Heizer (Angus), McCall Griffith (Simmental), Levi Leizear (Hereford), Ryan Burker (Commercial) and Ashley Wiles (All Other Breeds).
In the open class contest, Shelby Griffith dominated the competition with her yearling heifer, which was named grand champion. Rachel Clark won reserve grand champion for her Shorthorn yearling heifer.
The judging concluded with Kiley Slimmer’s exhibition of the lone bull.
The Washington County Ag Expo and Fair, which opened July 20, runs though Saturday. Daily admission is $6 for anyone age 2 and older, and includes unlimited carnival rides but not track events. Gates open at noon.