Kersey teen holds her own in National Western swine competition |

Kersey teen holds her own in National Western swine competition

DENVER – Jaci Corliss has been showing market swine for the past eight years, but Wednesday was the first time she brought animals to the National Western Stock Show.

And it turned out to be a pretty good morning, when her 264-pound Chester White she calls Jabberwocky, after a character in the film “Alice in Wonderland,” took second in its division and was in the running for the all-around reserve championship in that breed division.

“I just liked ‘Alice in Wonderland.’ I named the other pig I brought down here Alice,” said Jaci, 17. That was a 251-pound crossbred that wasn’t due to go into the show ring until mid-afternoon or later.

There were 496 animals entered in this year’s market swine show, coming from 20 states – including two from Alaska, a first for the National Western. They were judged by Jim McCoy of Bloomingburg, Ohio.

Marlin Eisenach, a Colorado State University Extension livestock agent from Morgan County and a superintendent at the National Western, said the two pigs came from Parker, Alaska, and were flown from Anchorage to Salt Lake City then trucked the remaining way to Denver, spending 15 days or so at a Boulder County farm prior to Wednesday’s show.

“You’d better have a real warm place to raise pigs in Alaska,” he said.

Richard Maxcy, who been announcing junior livestock shows at the National Western for some 30 years, said it was the first time he can recall any livestock coming to Denver from Alaska.

Jaci said she got her Chester White around the first of October from Diamond Livestock of Kersey, operated by the Rod Reinick family, and has worked daily with him and her other pig getting ready for Denver.

“I kind of thought he was pretty good but I really wasn’t sure,” the daughter of Doug and Jodi Corliss of Kersey said. Friends and family pointed out the barrow hog was an eye-blink from being named the breed champion.

Jaci said she’s a junior at Platte Valley High School and exhibited her pigs as a member of the school’s FFA.

Later in the morning, Austin Albrighton, 13, of Gill, exhibited in the Duroc breed show and said he also brought a crossbred to Denver. He said it’s the third year he’s brought pigs to the National Western as a member of the Box Elder 4-H Club. He’s a seventh-grader at Platte Valley Middle School.

“I thought he did all right,” Austin said of his Duroc. The son of Troy and Roxanne Albrighton said he bought the pig at the club sale last fall, adding he’s been showing pigs for five years.

“I show at the Weld County Fair and at the Colorado State Fair, too,” he said.