Sherese Ebaugh, 8, hangs on to Buster the lamb during Thursday’s lamb showmanship competition at the Routt County Fair in Hayden.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Sherese Ebaugh, 8, hangs on to Buster the lamb during Thursday’s lamb showmanship competition at the Routt County Fair in Hayden.

Hard work pays off at Routt County Fair

Routt County event continues through Sunday in Hayden

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— As competitors in the intermediate division of sheep showmanship circled the dusty ring at the Routt County Fairgrounds on Thursday afternoon, one little girl stood to the side, practicing turns with an animal four times her size.

Forty-three pound Sherese Ebaugh, with her hair in neat braids and wearing a sparkling purple shirt, was getting ready to take Buster into the ring. It’s Sherese’s very first Routt County Fair. Buster weighed 196 pounds.

Sherese’s father, Darren Ebaugh, helped his daughter answer questions when she seemed too shy to elaborate. Sherese said she learned this year how to walk Buster and brace him to present to the judges. Her father explained that they walked Buster, their only sheep, around the streets of their hometown of Phippsburg and exercised him in the backyard. Sherese, 8, is the oldest of her three siblings and the only one in 4-H.

When it came time for Sherese to enter the ring, Darren stood on the side nearest the announcer’s table and bent over to have a clear view of Sherese and Buster. Buster pulled and squirmed a bit, but Sherese held him tight and didn’t lose him, even as some of her competitors had to chase their animals around the ring.

There were about 70 sheep, not including market sheep, shown at the fair this year, Routt County Extension Agent Cassidy Kurtz said. There also were about 48 swine and a record 62 steers. Kurtz said the previous high was 51 steers.

“We’re close to 220 kids for the week, showing in different species,” Kurtz said.

Fair organizers had to find extra space for the steers entered this year, she said, but everything is going smoothly. The fair continues through Sunday, and is highlighted by the annual livestock sale Saturday night.

As Sherese and the rest of her cohorts walked around the ring, judge Travis Hoffman provided pointers. Routt County Extension Agent CJ Mucklow said the fair has been trying to get Hoffman for years, not only because of his experience — he’s a meat animal quality specialist from Colorado State University — but also because of his interaction with competitors.

If a ewe’s leg was out of place, he would suggest a correction and help get the animal positioned. If a competitor was having trouble controlling the animal, he offered pointers on how to hold the lamb’s head. At the end of the judging, Hoffman lined everyone up and explained why he chose the top several spots.

Sherese didn’t win, but she held Buster tight and was encouraged by Hoffman to stick with it and return next year.

Sherese might have big­ger plans.

“She’s thinking of having two sheep next year,” her father said.

“Yeah, a sheep or a goat,” Sherese replied.

Darren Ebaugh looked at his daughter.

“A goat? Where did a goat come from?”

Routt County Fair results

Senior goat showmanship

  1. Zoe Hart
  2. T-Lane Mazzola

Intermediate goat showmanship

  1. Shiloh Rozell
  2. Alex Hamilton
  3. Carl Rossi
  4. Matthew Hamilton

Junior goat showmanship

  1. Bailey Singer
  2. Mattie Rossi
  3. Autumn Hilley
  4. Shjon Petersen

Utility goat

Shjon Petersen (no place listed)

Fiber wether

  1. Autumn Hilley
  2. Autumn HIlley

Dairy goat

  1. Shjon Petersen

Meat breed doeling

  1. Zoe Hart
  2. T-Lane Mazzola

Supreme Champion breeding goat

Grand Champion — Zoe Hart

Reserve Champion — T-Lane Mazzola

Market goat class No. 1

Grand Champion — Shiloh Rozell

Reserve Champion — Bailey Singer

  1. Shjon Petersen
  2. Carl Rossi
  3. Alex Hamilton
  4. Matthew Hamilton
  5. Mattie Rossi

Bum lamb

Leona Thurston (cloverbud placing)

Meat breed ewe lamb

  1. Bailey Ann Forster
  2. Katelyn Olinger
  3. Jaelyn Whaley
  4. Grace Olinger
  5. Michaela Villa

Anthony Sisto (scratch)

Meat breed yearling ewe

  1. Anthony Sisto

Meat breed aged ewe

  1. Jaelyn Whaley
  2. Morgan Palyo
  3. Nate Ragan
  4. Anna Brown

5 Brianna Whilhelm

  1. Anthony Sisto
  2. and 8. Shannon Ragan

Meat breed ewe and breeding lamb

  1. Brianna Whilhelm

Meat breed ram lamb

  1. Brianna Whilhelm

Nate Ragan, Anthony Sisto (scratch)

Champion meat breed male

  1. Brianna Whilhelm

Supreme champion meet breed

Grand Champion — Bailey Forster

Reserve Champion — Katelyn Olinger

Brenner family breeding class

  1. Morgan Palyo
  2. Jaelyn Whaley
  3. Nate Ragan
  4. Anthony Sisto
  5. Shannon Ragan

Wool breed yearling ewe

  1. Kayla Wille
  2. Morgan Hatfield

Wool breed aged ewe

  1. Morgan Hatfield

Supreme champion wool breed

Grand Champion — Kayla Wille

Reserve Champion — Morgan Hatfield

County fair schedule

OA: Outdoor Arena

MPB: Multipurpose Building

EX: Exhibit Hall

F: Field

SAB: Small Animal Barn

T: Track

DC: Dry Creek Park

■ Today

8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free inflatable rides courtesy of First National Bank of the Rockies

8 a.m. Exhibit Hall opens

9 a.m. to noon. Cloverbud for a day

10 a.m. Dress your animal (MPB)

Noon. 4H/National FFA Organization llama show (MPB)

12:30 p.m. Bucket calf contest (MPB)

12:30 p.m. 4H/FFA dairy/beef breeding show (MPB)

3 p.m. Beef showmanship (MBP)

5 p.m. Market beef (MPB)

6 p.m. Central Park Liquor wine and beer contest (EX)

7:30 p.m. Demolition derby with live music, tickets required (OA)

■ Saturday

8 a.m. Exhibit Hall opens

8:30 a.m. Roping (OA)

10 a.m. Lion’s Club Parade, downtown Hayden

10 a.m. Bev Mason Memorial Carriage Show (Dry Creek)

11 a.m. DeLine Land and Cattle Co./North Forty Fencing mutton bustin’ (T)

11:30 a.m. NWCC open gymkhana (OA)

Noon. Forster Trucking/Tuff Enuff Rodeo calf/bull riding (OA)

Noon. Community Agricultural Alliance horse shoe pitching contest (F)

Noon. 4H/FFA round robin showmanship (MPB)

3 p.m. 4-H Presale/Bobby Robinson Memorial Barbecue (F)

5 p.m. Junior livestock sale (MPB)

8:30 p.m. to midnight. Barn dance with live music by Dokajovi (F)

■ Sunday

8 a.m. Exhibit Hall opens

9 a.m. Pretty baby contest (EX)

9 a.m. Chuck Fulton Memorial Open Draft Horse Contest (OA)

10 a.m. Team pull auction (T)

10 a.m. Mayor’s Brownie Contest and Commissioner’s Cookie Basket Contest (EH)

10 a.m. Coloring contest judging (EX)

10:15 a.m. Flat Tops Ranch Supply team pull competition, immediately following the draft horse contest (T)

1:15 p.m. Ranch rodeo team auction (T)

1:30 p.m. Mountain Valley Bank ranch rodeo (OA)

1:30 p.m. Forster Trucking/Tuff Enuff rodeo calf/bull riding (OA)

2 p.m. DeLine Land and Cattle Co./North Forty Fencing mutton bustin’ (T)

2 to 6 p.m. Open class payout, home arts exhibits released (EX)

3 p.m. Adopt-a-pig, immediately following ranch rodeo, pre-entry required

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