It may not be obvious, but the secret to at least one little piggy’s success during the Eastern New Mexico State Fair Market Swine Show Tuesday is to spend time doing laps.
The girls who won grand champion and reserve grand champion were the ones who worked with — and worked out — their pigs.
Before the competition even started, Rae Lynn Prather’s reserve grand champion swine, Cryp, was doing laps around the arena. But before that, Cryp battled a medical issue called cryptorchidism, which is how he got his name.
“He had to have surgery,” Prather said of her pig, who looked lively, healthy and most of all, hungry after the competition.
The 16-year-old Texico High School junior also shows steers and heifers. She has a ritual for every animal she shows — she walks her animal around the show arena before the competition. She also walks them at home in Texico.
“I take them into the ring and … try to get them to drive well,” Prather said.
The daughter of Blake and Lynette Prather, Rae Lynn said she has never won in the Market Swine Show.
“(It feels) really good,” she said with a big smile. “I’m really excited.”
A member of Future Farmers of America, Prather said she is grateful for the assistance from her agriculture teacher, Todd Pinnell.
For grand champion winner Kenzee Criswell, 14, doing swine shows is the whole reason why she raises pigs. The 4-H and FFA participant from Pep, said she also shows sheep, goats and steers.
Winning the shiny purple banner and trophy, as well as getting congratulatory hugs from friends and family is not an entirely new experience for Criswell. In 2007, her pig won grand champion at the Roosevelt County Fair, but she admitted she’s “never won at (a competition) this big.”
The daughter of Roy Lee and Waverly Criswell, the Elida High School freshman said she strives to make sure her pigs are properly fed, watered and clean.