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Nicole Antonucci/Recorder staff Hailey Briggs, of Glen, wins champion market steer and first place for lightweight beef Thursday during the 4-H Beef Show at the Fonda Fair. She is shown with her proud dad, Fred Briggs.

Nicole Antonucci/Recorder staff Jen Phillips wins first place in the Over the Hill Showmanship of the Open Class Beef Show Thursday, at the Fonda Fair.

Nicole Antonucci/Recorder staff Fred Briggs, of Glen, wins second place in the Over the Hill Showmanship of the Open Class Beef Show, Thursday, at the Fonda Fair.

Nicole Antonucci/Recorder staff Russell Darrow wins third place in the Over the Hill Showmanship of the Open Class Beef Show, Thursday, at the Fonda Fair.


The steaks are high: In the arena of beef cattle judging, there's no room for a bum steer

Friday, August 29, 2014 - Updated: 10:28 AM


Recorder News Staff

FONDA -- In the high-stakes world of the beef cattle competition, a lot depends on control.

Thursday morning at the Fonda Fair began with the 4-H beef show, where children proved how well they know their large, powerful animals and how to control them.

Among the winners was Kaitlyn Phillips of Amsterdam, who collected several medals, including first place in senior showmanship against three other competitors, and 4-H Champion Showman.

She also took four first place medals during the 4-H breed judging -- a junior heifer calf, a junior yearling, a cow 3 years old or older, and a cow with a calf at her side.

"I like winning," the 16-year-old said, adding that she has been competing for almost 10 years. "I got involved because of my aunt who was also in 4-H. It just happened."

During the showmanship, beef show judge Jeremy Bear of Greenville said he named Phillips the champion because she stood out.

"I could tell she has some experience and has been doing it for some time," he said.

Keegan Darrow, who took first place in Novice Showmanship, was named as a reserve.

First time 4-H'er Hailey Briggs of Glen didn't win anything during showmanship but when it came to the breed judging, she took first place in lightweight beef of 400 to 750 pounds with her cow Prince Albert. She also earned Champion Market Steer.

"I was nervous," she said afterward. "He didn't really want to walk."

However, the beef show isn't her only success this week. Briggs won Best of Breed for her rabbit in Tuesday's rabbit judging. In Wednesday's 4-H Dairy Show, Briggs won fourth in showmanship but then later took first place for heifer and third place for spring calf.

"It feels good," she said shyly.

She was also expected to compete in this morning's goat show.

Her father Fred Briggs said Hailey takes care of all the animals herself and he only steps in when needed.

"I am here for support," he said.

Fred Briggs also won his own medal during the Open Class Beef Show Thursday. He won second place in the Over the Hill Showmanship, but he said that was the only competition he was entering.

"I am done for the day," he said.

Jen Phillips, Kaitlyn's aunt, took first place in the Over the Hill showmanship for open class beef.

Afternoon events including a bike night, barrel meet, and a four-wheel-drive outlaw diesel truck pull.

The fair continues today with more animal shows in the morning followed by a four-wheel-drive outlaw gas truck pull at 1 p.m., a kiddie pedal tractor pull at 4 p.m., a bicycle drawing at 6 p.m., and another four-wheel outlaw gas truck pull at 7 p.m.

There is free admission for children ages 14 and under all day. There is a reduced admission fee for senior citizens as well.


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