A Wapakoneta FFA and Fryburg Happy Farmers member completed a rare feat Thursday by capturing a showmanship Triple Crown.
Kaylee Fisher, who won the Dairy Market Steer and the Beef Market Steer showmanships, earned the title of “Showman of Showmen” in the Showmanship Sweepstakes Thursday in Show Barn No. 1.
As she stood with her fellow competitors in front of the announcer’s table before they announced the “Showman of Showmen,” Kaylee replayed in her mind herself showing all the animals.
“The first thing that ran through my mind was I bombed the chicken part — I completely bombed the chicken part,” said Kaylee, who admitted she is scared of chickens. “With every other animal, I thought I did everything that I could. I studied really hard. I even went back to people twice and asked them questions.”
Competitors typically consult friends and 4-H club associates about the best way to show the animals outside their animal show and review possible questions they may be asked by the judges.
Having won two showmanship titles, Kaylee had to show every animal. Typically, the top showman in a specific category automatically earns a top score and can sit out.
Showing every animal, Kaylee admitted being nervous having to show some of the other animals.
“I was nervous a little bit because I thought I would forget stuff or I was going to lose my sheep because you have to hold onto it with your hands or I would lose the chicken because I am scared of the chickens,” the 18-year-old daughter of Stephanie and Jay Fisher said, “but it was really exciting.”
When they announced her name, she stood there stunned for a moment. Other members also stood in silence until Kaylee was presented with her wall clock and plaque.
“When they said my name, I looked around and I thought, ‘No this ain’t me’ then it all hit me at once,” Kaylee said.
Cody Schultz, who earned the Rabbit Showman title, broke the ranks first and congratulated Kaylee with a handshake. Then the three-time Showmanship Sweepstakes competitor gave her a hug.
He had the unique perspective of showing in the event three times.
“This event is challenging and even returning is challenging because you try to remember everything from year to year,” Cody said. “The stuff you forget always gets you in the end.”
Cody, who noted he is afraid of steers because of their size, also had the challenge of a hog which ran and romped around the pen like a frisky puppy making it difficult to keep up with the animal and for him keep it under control.
“I was a little less stressed this year then in other years because then I kind of winged it,” Cody said. “This year the judges seemed tougher and the questions more challenging, but I had fun, I loved it and I wish Kaylee the best.”
The others followed in congratulating Kaylee — Daniel Schmeider, a Buckeye Hustler, who won the Poultry Showman, Austin Snapps, a fellow member of the Fryburg Happy Farmers, who won the Sheep Showman, then Tiana Heidt, a member of the New Knoxville Livestock Boosters, who earned the title of Swine Showman.
It did not take long for Cole Brooks, a member of the Mavericks and the Horse Showman, to congratulate Kaylee, or for Cortney Miller, a member of the Maids and Gents of Kossuth and the Goat Showman, to offer their congratulations.
After the crowd disbursed, Kaylee soaked in the moment of earning the prestigious honor.
“It means a lot to me because before this year I was not a good showman at all,” Kaylee said. “I worked very, very hard with my dairy cow this year and my beef steer this year.
“I actually had to win a tough 16- to 18-(year-old) showmanship class to get to the Beef Showman of Showmen and then I had to compete against the other showmen — it was hard,” Kaylee said.
She also gave credit to her family and friends, who sat at the north end of the Show Barn and watched her compete.
“I have a huge support group and you could tell that when I won a little corner at that end just went berserk,” Kaylee said. “They have helped me through it all. When I got stressed out, they were there.”
She said at one point earlier this year when she was ready to quit on the beef steer she was training because he was so wild and refused to walk — her family and friends talked her into continuing to work with the steer.
“If it wasn’t for friends and family, I probably would have gotten rid of him in January or February,” Kaylee said. “This has shown me to never give up and when you put your mind to something you can achieve anything — and if you don’t, just come back and try harder and then you have won already.”