XENIA — Knowing that six species of animals had to be showed during Thursdays Showman of Showmen at the Greene County Fair, Brandon Barr had a pretty good idea who would win.
“We were all kind of expecting Kaden (Cline) to win because he’s pretty much good at everything,” Barr said.
So nobody was more surprised than Barr himself when he was announced as the winner and the recipient of the unofficial title of Best Showman in Greene County. Barr bested a solid field of 11 others who at one time or another were either an overall or grand champion in one of six species — horses, hogs, dairy heifers, steers, sheep, and goats.
Barr, in his last year of 4-H, was second in the horse and dairy portions, third in the hog and steer, and sixth and seventh in sheep and goat to earn points. That was enough to edge Cline, Levi Bradds, and Ciara Horney, who all finished second with 51 points. Claire Morris was fifth with 50 points. Finishing first in a species earned 12 points. Second earned 11 points, etc.
Admittedly, Barr is not a “goat or sheep person” and the horse didn’t want to cooperate.
“I worked my way through the other ones,” said Barr, who was second to Wesley Wickline in 2019.
Winning the most prestigious showmanship event the fair has to offer is a perfect way to end a stellar 4-H career for Barr, who is a beef boss.
“This is it,” he said. “I was talking to my dad and we were thinking, so far we had won pretty much everything in the beef barn but dairy.”
Speaking of dad, Jeff Barr, Brandon’s father, whooped it up quite loudly when the winner was announced and then couldn’t contain his emotions when asked about that reaction.
“He makes me proud,” Jeff said, while fighting back tears. “The way he teaches the young kids. A parent can’t be more proud.”
Barr wasn’t planning a big celebration, other than some dinner and sleep. He was up very late Wednesday helping others get ready for the day. He fit (prepped for showing) the grand and reserve steers, and helped Sydnee Hawkins learn how to fit as well.
For Horney, it was her first time in the competition. She won overall for sheep, qualifying her for the Showman of Showmen.
“It was really fun,” she said.
But it was a tad stressful at the same time because the sheep were not very cooperative and most had trouble.
“I thought that would knock my score low,” she said.
Horney, a member of the Greene Acres 4-H finished ninth on the sheep according to judge’s scoring but she made up for it finishing second in dairy and third on steers.
“It was a little bit challenging knowing there was 12 great showmen in the ring,” she said. “Everybody out here did great.”
Bradds wasn’t expecting to be in the running at all.
“I thought If I (placed) it would be fifth or sixth,” he said, adding that he has only showed cows, goats and, hogs.
Bradds, a member of T-Birds in his last year in 4-H, was first in hogs, second in goats, and third in dairy, which carried him to the second-place tie. He also placed fifth in the sheep portion, which helped a lot.
“Once I got in here with the lambs it was a lot like goats,” he said.
Also participating were Lia Johnson, Haley Partee, Gunnar Gannon, Noah Spracklen, Blake Midlam, and Emma Morrow.