Lauralee Lenhart is leaving the show ring on top. The 2015 graduate of West Liberty-Salem capped off her six-year pig showing career at the Champaign County Fair on Tuesday by winning Grand Champion Overall Market Barrow.
“This is my last year showing pigs, so it’s awesome being able to win,” Lenhart said.
Prior to entering the pig show ring for her final competition, Lenhart was already having a fair to remember having won Overall Champion Senior Swine Showmanship, Grand Champion Born & Raised Gilt, 4-H Grand Champion Market Gilt, Reserve Champion Overall Market Gilt, Champion Performance Pig and Champion Swine Purebred Barrow.
Despite the long list of 2015 fair accolades combined with the fact this summer she was crowned Overall Exhibitor during the Ohio Summer Show Circuit known as OH-PIGS, Lenhart entered Tuesday’s 4-H Market Barrow Show believing her barrows were longshots at best to compete for the top awards.
“I thought we had a decent chance of winning the class, but as for the division, I didn’t think I would win anything,” she said. “I definitely didn’t think I would win grand champion overall. I was totally surprised.”
Lenhart’s involvement with pigs didn’t begin in early childhood, but instead after she decided to sign up for a pig scramble.
“I got a pig before I got into the scramble because I wanted to know how to take care of it and to get used to being around pigs,” she said. “After I caught a scramble pig, I decided to get more involved with pigs.”
The rest, as the old cliché goes, is history.
Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-652-1331 (ext. 1774) or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.