Official: Swine show numbers up

By Karl Terry: PNT correspondent

Kasyn Creighton may have already forgotten judge Tyler Dewey’s Tuesday night comments about her Hampshire hog but she and dozens of other Roosevelt County youth won’t easily forget the thrill of being in the show ring.

The Roosevelt County Fair officially got under way Tuesday with the annual New Mexico Christian Children’s Home Pork Chop Breakfast. The afternoon and evening was devoted to live pork on the hoof with the swine shows.

According to swine show Superintendent Eddy Wilhoit, this year’s show was a resounding success with entry numbers up over last year at 163 hogs. Besides the numbers, he said he was pleased with the quality of the hogs in the show.

“Even with the economy as bad as it is and feed prices so high, these parents are really to be commended for the support they showed,” Wilhoit said. “This is where we’re growing the future of our farming community right here. This is where we’re going to feed our nation.”

Randal Craig of Dora High School, an eight-year veteran of showing animals at the Roosevelt County Fair, was concentrating his efforts on the swine show this year due to some tough luck and hard life lessons with a $2,500 steer that went cripple on him.

“It’s no one’s fault, it just happened,” Craig said, admitting it was still a hard lesson.

Asked for his advice to young exhibitors, Craig cut straight to the chase.

“Pigs are about the easiest to take care of. You don’t have to lead ‘em. You just herd ‘em around.”

Clay Lieb of Portales Junior High and Weston Whitecotton of Floyd Elementary were taking things a little easier than Craig while sitting on a fence near the wash rack. Whitecotton, in his third year at the fair, had already shown his hogs in the booster division but had failed to place.

“They’re (hogs) fun because you get out of school (to show them),” Whitecotton said.

Lieb, who has been showing animals since he was 9, was waiting to show his cross-bred pigs. He said learning how and what to feed the animals and the importance of doing those chores faithfully is the most important part of having show animals.

Rainstorms narrowly missed fairgoers as the sun set and the action in the show ring continued into the night. Outside on the slab, Dave Nash and the Floyd Jamboree Band warmed up the crowd for Kene Terry and the Bourbon Cowboys, who were scheduled to play until midnight.

The fair continues through Saturday at the Roosevelt County Fairgrounds in Portales