Colorado State Fair News: Kersey teen takes grand champion hog title
Thirteen-year-old Rayna Hodgson of Kersey had a feeling she would be exhibiting the grand champion market hog at the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo on Sunday.
Hodgson, daughter of Mark and Marla Hodgson, told the Pueblo Chieftain she felt she had a chance to win the championship when she drew the entry number 111, the same number she had assigned to her at a show in May, a show where she had a lot of success.
“It was my lucky number earlier in the season, so I had a feeling when I got it,” she told the Chieftain.
In a telephone interview Monday from Pueblo where she was getting her pig ready for the Junior Market Livestock Show, which starts at 2 p.m. today, Rayna said she named her pig “Paisley” because of a specific mark she had on her shoulder that looked like the colored pattern.
“It just looked like a paisley and me and my sister (Courtney) both like paisleys so that’s what we called her,” Rayna said, adding her sister is a senior at Colorado State University, where she is on the livestock judging team.
Rayna said she bought her grand champion from friends in Illinois earlier this year and had intended to take her to the Weld County Fair earlier this month.
“But she sort of slowed down and quit growing for awhile, so we held her back,” Rayna said. Going into the market hog show, where there were about 350 animals exhibited, she was confident, but not overly so.
“I felt she was good enough to win, and hoped she was good enough. But I didn’t want to go in there cocky and get it shoved in my face,” she said with a laugh. It was the first grand championship she’d won.
Rayna said she planned to use the proceeds from the sale of her pig to pay off bills, then put some away for a college education.
Reserve grand champion market hog went to Matthew Crane of Pritchett.
Earlier, Mitch Stahley of Kersey, a senior at Platte Valley High School, had the reserve champion market lamb, a contest won by Kaitlin Nicolas of Montrose.
Mitch, who had the grand champion lamb at the Weld County Fair, said his reserve at Pueblo weighed 138 pounds.
“It’s been a pretty good summer,” Mitch said in a telephone interview. He said he bought his reserve champion earlier this year from Jason Simpson of Ault, and said he thought his chances at Pueblo were pretty good going into the show.
“But again, it’s a show and you can never predict the outcome of one of these,” he said. “I knew I had a quality lamb, but once we got to the top end, things got pretty tight and pretty competitive.” There were about 400 lambs entered in this year’s state fair market lamb show.
The reserve grand champion steer was exhibited by Hannah Vickland of Longmont, a member of the Calico ‘n Jeans 4-H Club of Johnstown. Grand champion steer honors went to Lisa Reid of Brighton.
In other shows, Wyatt Heidenreich of Gill had the grand champion chicken while Caitlyn Ochsner of Kersey had the grand champion Limousin cow-calf pair and reserve champion Limousin heifer in the breeding beef show. Weld 4-H members also finished high in horse show events, but results from those shows were not completed by Monday.