Hunker is 2014 Showman of Showmen

Aaron Krause • Aug 21, 2014 at 5:02 PM

The 2014 Showman of Showmen, Sarah Hunker, said the hardest animal for her to display was the turkey.

So it's fitting that she said the best piece of advice she received was "don't be chicken. Just do it."

Hunker, the swine champion for three years, said she felt as though the turkey would bite her.

"I don't show small animals," the daughter of Roger and Laurie Hunker said. "They're just different. I feel like I can't control them as well.

"I was terrified of the turkey."

As it turns out, the chicken Hunker was given to display didn't come close to biting her, she said. And apparently she controlled it quite well. Hunker said she received advice from exhibitors of other animals as well as adults.

For the showman of showmen competition, the champion showman representing each animal must display all animals to be considered the overall champion. Judges try to determine which presenter can control their animal the best and answer questions correctly.

The second place winner was Lauren Ott, the daughter of Jude and Jeanette Ott, a Norwalk High School senior and the beef champion. The third place winner was goat champion Trisha Schoen, the daughter of Dan and Renne Schoen and a sophomore at The Ohio State University.

Last year, Hunker, a Bellevue High School senior, captured third place in the Showman of Showmen contest and the year before that, she captured fourth place.

Hunker said this has been a good fair week for her. She owns the Grand Champion hog and Grand Champion lamb, both of which she was scheduled to sell at today's large livestock sale.

Hunker slightly smiled when she learned that she captured top honors. She said she was shocked to learn the news.

"There was a lot of other good competition," said Hunker, who has been showing for nine years.

In addition to Hunker, Ott and Schoen, the other competitors were David Seidel, representing turkeys, Greg Cornish, representing dairy beef, Tara Eisenhauer, representing sheep, Courtney Lund, representing dairy, Alicyn Fooce, representing rabbits and Shaina Dean, representing poultry.

Dick Wiles, a senior fair board member, said earning the Showman of Showmen title is the goal of every youngster displaying animals at the fair.

"It's like winning the super bowl," he said.

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Senior Fair Board member Bob Morgan said it's been a "fairly smooth" fair so far. While rain might have affected attendance the first two days, nice weather brought more people in the ensuing days. Usually, it's hot, sticky and humid, but that's not been the case this year, he said. Wednesday's attendance was about 9,100 and Thursday's 9,200, according to fair officials.

Today is the 2014 Huron County Fair's last day and includes a rooster crowing contest at 7 a.m., election of officers from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., the junior fair large livestock auction at 9 a.m. and a demolition derby at 6 p.m.

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