Fourteen year old Darrington White had a busy week at the Adams County Fair to say the very least.
In addition to showing her three hogs, one of which took home the prize of grand champion market hog, White also participated in ATV racing at the dirt track, the 4H parade and the Barnyard Olympics where she represented Manchester High School.
White also raised a grand champion market hog in 2013, and what’s more her cousin won the title in 2014. So it’s safe to say the family are the ones to beat in Adams County when it comes to raising hogs.
“We’ve been lucky,” Darrington’s father, Steve White said.”With her winning it two years ago and her cousin winning it last year, that’s three years in a row it’s been in the family.”
Darrington got to sell her hog first out of around 300 other hogs at the fair – selling the 266 pound beast for $6 per pound, or $1,596.
The young, two-time champion worked with her hogs this year for about three months, focusing on building up their stamina and eventually walking them for about 45 minutes per day. Stamina which clearly paid off come show time.
“If they get tired they’re going to drop their head, breathe hard, they’ll find the gate that they came in wanting to go back to their pen,” Steve said. “But if you’ve got them where they can take 45 minutes it helps. You got to win your class, you have to come back for your division, you have to win your division, and then you have to come back for the championship. So she had three classes she had to be in within a 30 minute period.”
While both Darrington and her father said a little bit of luck is required to win, the family has been quite lucky in recent years.
“You’ve got to beat out all these other hogs and you’ve got one man’s opinion,” Steve said. “There is luck involved but you’ve got to be prepared for that little bit of luck.”
In the show arena, despite showing hogs for five years now, still was nervous as three months work all came down to just a few minutes of judging in an arena full of people.
“You’re really nervous and you want to make sure [the judge] sees all views of your hog,” Darrington said. “But when I won the feeling was great. It was so shocking it’s hard to describe the feeling.”
In the ATV race portion of the fair on Wednesday night, Darrington was paired up against her younger brother Denton, who was able to beat her on the track, a small amount of payback for losing to his sister in the hog competition.
But despite being a grand champion again, racing your brother, and representing her school, where she’ll begin her freshman year this fall, the best part of the fair to Darrington is being able to spend a week with her friends from throughout the county.
“She got to stay up late and hang with her friends after she won,” Steve said. “The night before a show she has to go to bed early but after a show she can go out with her friends.”