Weld County Fair: Kersey teen’s lamb wins championship
Mitch Stahley, 17, of Kersey has been showing market lambs since he was 8, and all the work paid off Friday evening at the 2010 Weld County Fair when “Mr. Mr.” was named grand champion at this year’s market lamb show by Darick Chabot of Dublin, Texas, who evaluated about 120 head.
Kayla Frink, 13, of Ault, had the reserve overall champion she called “Up Your Alley,” a lamb she raised at her family’s operation southeast of Ault.
The show was held in the Event Center at Island Grove Regional Park, which also will be the site of this year’s Junior Market Livestock Sale, which starts at 3 p.m., Monday, to conclude this year’s fair.
Stahley, 17, the son of John and Deena Stahley of Kersey, said he bought his champion this spring from Jason Simpson of Ault.
“He caught my eye when he ran out into the pen. I went out and braced him, then we came back about a week later and bought him,” Mitch, said, who added he’s been showing market lambs in 4-H and FFA since he was 8-years-old. The name, he said, came from several sources, including a lamb owned by Jeremy Rosenquist of Kersey named “Mr.” who was the grand champion at the Colorado State Fair several years ago. Then, he added, there’s a popular song by the same name, and he had a reserve champion breeding ewe he called “Soul Sister,” so everything just kind of fell into place.
Rosenquist is now one of the superintendents of the market lamb show at the fair.
Mitch said he thought he had a pretty good chance of winning the top award at this year’s show.
“It takes a little luck and a lot of hard work. I’ve come here before and thought I had a chance and didn’t win, but it worked out this year,” he said.
Kayla, the daughter of Mike and Amy Frink, is one of three sisters who exhibited lambs at this year’s show and she duplicated her effort from a year ago, when she also had the overall reserve champion.
When asked about her lamb’s name, she said “I just made it up,” and said she hoped that next year she might be able to move up to the championship trophy.
Chabot, who grew up in Fort Morgan and is now a county extension agent in Texas, said he appreciated the opportunity to come back to Colorado and judge the Weld market lambs.
“There was really an outstanding set of market lambs out here this afternoon. This (Event Center) is a tremendous facility, there was a tremendous set of kids and a really nice set of lambs. I think it is important that I give back to this program and this set of lambs was as competitive of any set I’ve judged recently,” Chabot said.