COLUMBUS – Ask 16-year-old Jamie Banbury of Knox County the highlight of her summer, her year, her life, and she’ll tell you about the 2004 Ohio State Fair.
The teen’s name will go down in history for a feat hardly ever accomplished at the fair. Banbury exhibited both the grand and reserve champion market lambs and sold them Aug. 15 in the Sale of Champions.
The same exhibitor hasn’t shown both champion and reserve champion in any species since 1986, when Mark Hara showed two top lambs.
Before Banbury and Hara, the feat had only been documented three other times since 1968, including once in 1977 when Dan Westlake – who worked as a ringman at the Sale of Champions this year – showed lambs.
“It’s almost impossible to do this. This takes extreme dedication, passion. What a feat,” cheered auctioneer Johnny Regula.
Purebred. Stepping into the sale ring with her champion lamb, Banbury was all smiles. Atop a field of 887 lambs exhibited at the fair, Banbury knew what her win meant. She said just trying to get one winner is a monumental event, but having two meant even more.
Banbury brought six lambs to the fair this year, and came out on top with her 135-pound champion purebred Hampshire. Her 130-pound champion grade lamb placed second.
Banbury was also named outstanding market lamb exhibitor, and award that includes her skillathon and showmanship scores and market placing.
Bidders volleyed numbers, encouraged by sale emcee Dale Minyo and auctioneer Regula, Ohio Gov. Bob Taft and the state fair choir and band.
Banbury’s champion brought a $22,000 bid from Kroger, and her reserve champion brought a record $16,750, erasing the old record of $13,000 set last year.
The reserve champion sold to Huffman’s Market, Kale Marketing, and The Ohio Horse Racing Council.
More records. Gov. Taft, state fair manager Virgil Strickler and Ohio State’s agriculture college dean Bobby Moser welcomed hundreds of onlookers to the Celeste Center for the Sale of Champions.
The sale, according to Moser, features the best of the best – both youth and livestock –
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