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Halifax County Junior Livestock show 'biggest in years'

Monday marked the 53rd annual Halifax County Junior Livestock Show & Sale (HCJLS) held at the Halifax County Fairgrounds.
The event drew larger than expected crowds due to the increase of participants in the show from years past, according to organizers.

Throughout the day, school-age participants in K-12 demonstrated their showmanship skills along with their animals.

The livestock show, which began at 11 a.m., included classes of animals such as heifers and steers, market and doe goats and market and ewe lambs.

“This is the biggest show in years,” agreed show co-chairs Dustin Francis and Dr. Phil Ward.

Participants in the show were required to work with and take care of their animals for many months including feeding, watering, walking, halter breaking and preparing for the show.

Most steer and heifer contenders in the livestock show began working with their animals late last summer, and participants in the show with goats and sheep began working with their animals earlier this year.

Jason Pratt of Pulaski judged this year’s livestock show, while Francis served as emcee, and Halifax County Agriculture Director Leah Brooks awarded ribbons to participants.

Rebecca McCormick won the Senior Showmanship Lamb class, and second place went to Kent Reese. McCormick also was presented the J.O. Crews Showmanship Award by Crews’ daughter, Jamie Harvey.

Casey Garland won the Junior Showmanship Lamb class, and Ellen Crowder finished second.

In the Senior Goat Showmanship class Sara Beth Reese placed first followed by Jesse Bailey. Brittany Roller won the Intermediate Goat Showmanship class, and Courtney O’Shea finished second.

In the Junior Goat Showmanship class Ashley Jones finished first followed by Cole Duffer.

Rebekah Slabach won the Senior Cattle Showmanship class, and second place went to Courtney Garland.

Rebecca McCormick won the Junior Cattle Showmanship class, and Blake Anderson finished second.

Grand and Reserve Champions also were chosen for each category with winners receiving a ribbon and engraved plate.

David Roller and his goat received Grand Champion Market Goat, and Sara Beth Talley, along with her goat, won Reserve Champion Market Goat.

Sara Beth Reese showed the Grand Champion Doe Goat, and Courtney O’Shea showed the Reserve Champion Doe Goat.

Kent Reese showed the Grand Champion Market Lamb, and Casey Garland showed the Reserve Champion Market Lamb.

Kent Reese also showed the Grand Champion Ewe Lamb, and Ellen Crowder showed the Reserve Champion Ewe Lamb.

Rebecca McCormick showed the Grand Champion Heifer, and Rebekah Slabach showed the Reserve Champion Heifer.

Courtney Garland showed Grand Champion Steer, and Blake Anderson showed the Reserve Champion Steer.

Following the children’s portion of the show, the alumni show began.

The alumni show was held in memory of Earl Midkiff, a former participant, friend and supporter of the HCJLS who passed away in February.

In 2007, 2008 and 2009 the Grand and Reserved Champion Steers came from his farm.

The winner of the HCJLS Alumni Show was Bill Saunders who received a plaque from the Midkiff family.

The alumni show was open to anyone, former participant or not, who wanted to be a part of the show.

Alumni participants paid a fee of $10 with all proceeds going to the HCJLS scholarship.

This year’s scholarship winner was Sandi Francis of South Boston.

The daylong event concluded with supper, followed by the selling of the animals.