In two weeks, 2017 Triad graduate Summer Doty starts a new chapter in her life at Wilmington College. On Monday, the 19-year-old Cable resident emphatically closed the latest chapter in her life by showing her fourth-straight Grand Champion FFA Market Gilt and third Grand Champion Overall Market Gilt – forever cementing her name in the Champaign County Fair record books.
Doty, who skipped this year’s Ohio State Fair to concentrate on her final county fair, was on a redemption tour of sorts after having her two-year streak of exhibiting the top overall market gilt at the Champaign County Fair snapped a year ago.
“It means a lot to not win the past year and come back this year and win with a pig I raised,” Doty said.
The winning hog – a 255-pound crossbred gilt (also crowned Grand Champion Born and Raised Gilt) – was bred and raised by Doty in a little barn in the family’s back yard. The family owns and operates Mingo Valley Showpigs.
Having shown her fair share of champion swine, Doty said this particular gilt stands out by “how balanced she is and how massive she is.”
Doty added the judge commented several times that the gilt “walks on air.”
As a three-time exhibitor of the overall grand champion market gilt, Doty has set a new standard in her family’s storied tradition of showing hogs at the Champaign County Fair. Her late grandfather, Noel Brelsford, showed the Grand Champion Open Class Barrow in 1959 and 1962.
“We’ve always showed pigs,” Doty said. “My sister and a couple of my cousins showed pigs, so I always used those for Pee-Wee Showmanship. My mom always bred and raised her own, too.”
Following in her family’s footsteps, Doty first entered the show ring at the age of 3, and as history would have it, she proved to be a natural.
Whether it’s something she was born to do or not, Doty attributes her success in the show ring to a little hard work and a lot of assistance along the way.
“I put in a lot of work throughout the summer, and I’ve had a lot of help from my parents and some family friends.”
Experience doesn’t hurt either.
“Practice makes perfect,” Doty said. “We show pigs all through the summer on the OH-PIGS Jackpot Circuit, and we go to the state fair almost every year. I’m probably in the ring 30 times throughout the summer.”
Doty added she would be remiss if she didn’t thank Nott Showpigs, Woodstock, for supplying the genetic line for her champion market gilts.
Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-508-2304 or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.