XENIA — Ella Simmons was well on her way to top honors in the breeding and meat rabbit show at the Greene County Fair Tuesday.
And she had no idea.
The 10-year-old member of Jamestown Junior Farmers was in another barn participating in the breeding poultry show and couldn’t, um, hop from one to another.
“You couldn’t tell what was going to happen,” she said.
But a lot did.
Simmons — in her second year showing rabbits — had the best commercial and the overall best in show in addition to best pre-junior commercial doe.
“I was very excited,” Simmons said upon learning she swept two of the most prestigious awards. “They did a lot better than I thought.”
The decision as to whether be with her poultry or rabbits was pretty simple for Simmons.
“I knew I had people over here (in the rabbit barn) that could help me,” she said.
Of most help was her cousin, Reagan Montgomery, also a member of Jamestown Junior Farmers. Montgomery, 10, not only showed her own rabbits, but she made sure Simmons’ rabbits also made it into the ring for judging.
So while Montgomery was wearing out a path from the cages to the ring, Simmons was flying high in the poultry barn. She won three of four poultry shows she was in, and finished fourth in the other.
Montgomery had some success of her own with her Mini Lop. She won best fancy rabbit in her second year showing.
“I’m really excited,” Montgomery said. “I really didn’t think my rabbit was going to do that good. When I watched at (other) shows, the Mini Lop goes in and comes right back out.”
Montgomery’s stayed in until the very end.
She also had the best commercial junior buck and doe and the best commercial 6-8 buck and doe.
— Natalie Grizzle is making her final year in 4-H count. The 2020 graduate of Xenia High School finished first in the single fryer rabbit class, her second such win in her seven years showing rabbits.
“He was a pretty good weight size,” said Grizzle, a member of the Country Rebels 4-H Club.
She kept things pretty basic leading up to the fair.
“Just fed them,” Grizzle said. “Fill their bowls up every night.”
Grizzle also had the first place New Zealand pre-junior doe and won a pair of scholarships, which were announced during the royalty coronation.
“It’s good,” she said of winning things in her last year showing at the fair. In the fall she plans to attend Clark State University to become an ultrasound technician.
— Elyse Waggoner didn’t waste any time collecting blue ribbons. The 13-year-old member of Goal Getters in Jamestown had a pocket full of first-place awards before most people had a chance to set up their lawn chairs in the rabbit barn.
The Greeneview eighth grader won for her pre-junior buck, junior buck and doe, and a senior buck. She also had a senior doe and pre-junior doe finish second and another senior buck finish fourth. A buck is a male, while a doe is a female.
Waggoner was a little surprised at her success.
“This year our rabbits weren’t as good as they usually were,” she said. “We just had an off year.”
She has won big before, as a few years ago she had the reserve grand champion meat pen. She was hoping for that again this year. The results were not known at press time.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.