North Montgomery junior Layla Bennett and Southmont Junior High seventh-grader Gerald Hutson took top honors at Wednesday’s Montgomery County 4-H Swine Show.
More than 200 hogs and their exhibitors fought through the heat to put on a show that impressed judge Ben Schmaling.
“This is one of the best county shows in America in terms of the quality of pigs,” Schmaling said. “I always enjoy coming to Montgomery County because I know the kids are great and the hogs are superior.”
Bennett’s Berkshire was crowned the grand champion gilt. Since she started showing pigs at age 5, being crowned the best in Montgomery County has been one of her goals.
“This means a lot to me because of the hard work and effort I have put into showing pigs,” Bennett said. “I won something that I really wanted and am very excited.”
Bennett is a member of the Madison Happy Hoosiers 4-H Club. She has been in 4-H for eight years and has shown pigs for six years and also had a crossbred gilt that placed fifth at the swine show.
Schmaling liked her pig’s frame and how she carried herself in the arena. It set her apart from the other pigs in the championship drive.
Bennett walked her pigs nearly every night in preparation for the fair season. She also washes her pigs daily and has them fed and walked by 7 a.m. every day.
Bennett is the daughter of Wade and Mindy Bennett, whom she thanked for their support. She also thanked the Wells family from Danville, Indiana, where she bought the champion.
The state fair is not in Bennett’s plan, but rather she will keep the gilt to breed on the Bennett farm.
Hutson was all smiles after claiming the top barrow award.
“I was very surprised,” Hutson said. “I did not have any idea how we would do. We have not done any shows but this one, so to win it, is a great feeling.”
Hutson, who has had to balance getting his barrow ready for the swine show and practicing with the newly formed Montgomery County Marching Band, said his pig was easy to show because of its personality.
“This pig is the easiest pig to work with,” Hutson said. “He is pretty chill. He is my favorite pig.”
Hutson has been in 4-H for five years and shown pigs for four years.
The champion exhibitor is the son of Greg and Julie Hutson and he expressed thankfulness for Seth Gillstrap and Macy Zachary for helping him with his pig project.