Another fair is in the books

One of the most popular events in the annual Rio Blanco County Fair is the sheep lead because of the cuteness of the participants, including 2-year-old Skyler Wilson, (daughter of Justin and Kristin Wilson), is pictured leading her sheep in the arena. The sheep belongs to Kilduff Family Farms and was No. 66. Bobby Gutierrez photo

RBC | After a couple weeks of intense county fair activity, County Extension Agent Bill Ekstrom, at his office—abuzz with after-fair activity—was philosophical and grateful. First and foremost, he expressed his enthusiasm for the fair—his 32nd in Rio Blanco County—having been the smoothest run fair in his memory. Ekstrom credited all the fair-related folks who stepped up to cover for him as he continues to recuperate from heart surgery.
Longtime “fair queens” like D.C. Collins and Jean Wood were mentioned for their contributions. Wood didn’t enter anything this year, choosing to stick to the very important work she does as the foods superintendent. Ekstrom mentioned how critical Stephanie Oldland has been in running the indoor open classes, providing leadership and support to all the other superintendents and assistants. In the same breath, he mentioned Karen Arnold, a multiple superintendent and now also the Fair Board treasurer. This list is not all-encompassing, by any means.
Ekstrom and county 4-H coordinator Tera Shults reported that the clothing and fashion revue participation and results were a big plus this year, crediting leaders Lois Gibbs and Cortney Aldridge. Participation in 4-H cooking endeavors was way up this year thanks to Karla Bicknell, Shults said.
Ekstrom and Shults also bragged on how well prepared and delicious the Lions Club and Wool Growers barbecues were. The latter, they said, even sold out.
The 4-H/FFA junior livestock sale, Ekstrom reported, went very well. Preliminary figures for the sale show the total to be more than $200,000, including add-ons and seven re-sales. Final totals, biggest buyers and the like will be available in the next week or so.
The grand and reserve champion animals brought the highest sale prices with one exception. Rangely’s Corbin Lucero’s beef brought $7,000 in the sale. It appeared there was a bit of Rangely bidding war moving the price up.
One of the big stories coming out of the 4-H activity is livestock star Macy Collins achieving a years’ long goal—the trifecta of winning the grand championship in three categories: beef, sheep and goat. Her grand champion goat brought $1,000 at the sale and her grand champion beef brought $5,000. She’s saving her grand champion lamb (participants are only allowed to sell two animal species in the sale) and is expected to take the lamb to the Colorado State Fair.
The grand champion swine winner was Marryn Shults, whose hog brought $2,250 at the sale. The reserve grand champion hog was Halle Ahren’s which also brought $2,250.
The top lamb in the sale was Tatum Kennedy’s reserve grand champion which brought $1,600. Other reserve grand champions were Tatum Kennedy for her goat which brought $900 and Kolbi Franklin for her beef which brought $4,500.
Other grand champions were Emily Archuleta in poultry for her chicken and Hayden Garcia for her rabbits. The respective reserve grand champions were Jared Henderson for his turkey and Brooke Archuleta for her rabbits.
One of the new and very interesting events this year, according to Tera Shults, was the Bred and Fed competition. This contest, reportedly the brain-child of Jak Kilduff, organized by Kilduff and Tobey Willey, compared the showmanship, animal market placing, and rate of gain only for those fair animals actually bred, raised and fed in Rio Blanco County, i.e., giving a nod to Rio Blanco producers, as well, often the same 4-H family. The winners in Bred and Fed were, first and second respectively, Hayden Shults and Marryn Shults for beef; Macy Collins and Willey Dawson for goats; Macy Collins and Tatum Kennedy for sheep; and Justin Allred and Drake Miller for swine.
The artwork submitted this year was impressive. Cindy Rholl (adult, art professional) won a grand championship for her “Beets” still life. Norma Oldland (senior, oil landscape) won a champion ribbon for her work showing a lake surrounded by aspen fall colors. Belinda Kohls (adult, amateur) won a grand championship for her “Paint War Horse” oil.
The grand champion high school artist was Madison Russell for her pencil portrait. Grand champion youth went to Kadence Wagner of Rangely for her “Puppies in Wagon.” In the mentor and me category (seven and under), Jayci Anderson won a grand championship for her “Starry Night,” a take-off on Vincent van Gogh’s famous 1889 work of the same name.
In photography, Kim Ekstrom won a championship in the professional category with a steer roping photo. A grand championship was taken by mentor and contestant Kate Sanders for her picture of a snowman and kid. The reserve grand championship (under 14 youth) was awarded to Jessy Pelloni for her cell phone photo of a poodle and herself—both with their tongues out. Allie Sanders (youth, high school), with a photo of grass and soap bubbles, won best of show on top of her grand championship.
Kolbi Franklin, in the high school division, won a reserve championship for her picture of one of her favorite Hereford cows. Adult Twyla Jensen won a championship with her landscape picture of Blue Mesa Reservoir and best of show with her “Homestead in Fall, Buena Vista” landscape. With his black and white landscape photo of Duck Lake, Steve Cochrane of Rangely took a championship (adult).
Rob Baughman displayed a senior color photography championship for his photo of a border collie on the edge of a pond, entitled “Fur, Feathers or Fins: I’m Herding It.” Jim Magid won a senior reserve championship with his enhanced action photo of a barrel racer. Sally Schuster won a senior championship for her wild animal photo of a pretty new, resting elk calf sporting spots.
The quilts were gorgeous. Donna Collins had a first place “Morning Glories” hanging. Peggy Shults had a beautiful lap quilt entitled “Sunflowers.” Lee Light won best of show with her grand champion quilt. Stephanie Oldland, with her Civil War Basket Quilt, won the reserve championship.
Complete fair results will be published in the Herald Times as they become available.

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