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Posted on Aug 27, 2015

The County Fair

The Grant County Fair has come and gone and the Quincy showmen were nothing less than spectacular. There were grand champions, reserve champions and scores of blue ribbons handed out to the youth showing goats, sheep, pigs, cows and horses.
There was success in both 4-H and FFA. In the pig arena, local legend Blaine Lee continued to dominate in both fitting and showing and market. But it was his ability to help others find success that was inspiring.

PriscillaCastillo
Fellow Quincy High School student Priscilla Castillo was one of those who found a way to glean knowledge from Lee. Castillo, who is in her first year of FFA, chose to show a pig. This is a huge undertaking for a girl known for musicality. She plays guitar, piano and sings in her church choir. But she jumped right into the slop.
“It’s just a different experience,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to do it. All my friends do it.”
Six-months ago, she purchased a Hampshire cross pig. She said she put in months of training with McBeth.
“It was two hours a day for the last three weeks,” she said.
Castillo talked to FFA advisor Mike Wallace, fellow student Dylan Baty and of course Lee.
“I asked a lot of questions,” said Castillo. “I know what I can’t do.
“There was a huge impact from Blaine, Dylan and Mr. Wallace for sure.”
After gathering all the info and raising McBeth to 257 pounds she was ready for the novice class. She got a blue last Wednesday in market, but came back on Thursday and got a call back. She was one of two showmen to be asked to come back to the championship round. She was able to parlay that into a reserve grand champion. It was also her birthday.
“I will do it next year, because I enjoyed it enough,” said Castillo. “I went in not expecting it.”
She acknowledges it was not a perfect showing, but what musician will say they were perfect?
“I am learning from the experience. I still made mistakes,” Castillo said. “It’s not to prove anything to anybody but myself.”
On the 4-H side, Myles Lee is the younger brother of Blaine – the pig whisperer. So he has grown up idolizing his brother in the ring. He said he wants to be like him, but watching Mylesshow his pig, Guy, a 282-pound Hampshire Cross, you know he has his own unique ways.
“I’m trying to be him,” said the 11-year-old.
He was like his brother after winning the grand champion in the 4-H Junior fitting and showing and a blue in the market.
“I just had him going where the judge’s body was,” said Lee. “I wanted to win.”
But Myles brings his own style. He brushes and cleans his pig numerous times during the showing.
“I just like it,” he said. “It’s just my personality. It keeps me focused and cleans (Guy).”

~Kurtis J. Wood/sports@qvpr.com

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