The Overall Grand Champion Large Animal Showman and the Overall Grand Champion Small Animal Showman at the Lake County Fair this year was the same person — Kyia Hendrickson of Charlo.
This exceptional feat was no easy accomplishment as Kyia was competing throughout the fair with a broken ankle. She injured the ankle a few months ago and had been in a ‘boot’ for several weeks, but cast it to the side in order to compete in the fair with her 40-plus animals.
Kyia is only in her fourth year in 4-H, so her accomplishments this year were additionally impressive. She is drawn to animals and they are drawn to her and she has quite a knack for showing them.
Her dog, Sky, aka “Skinny” is a border collie who helps keep the other animals, large and small, in line. Kyia and Sky together won the Reserve Sr. Showmanship award for dogs as well as three Grand Champion awards and an additional Reserve Champion award. Of those, the one she was most excited about was the Grand Champion Award in obedience.
Sky, however was probably most thrilled with the Championship in running tunnels. Actually, to Sky the award was irrelevant and she would be willing to run the tunnels again, and again, and again, and ...
The animal Kyia has won the most awards with is her horse which has not been beaten in the 4-H Horse Show events. This year Kyia and her sorrel captured Grand Champion Rosettes in Sr. Showmanship as well as Western Pleasure, Western Equitation, Western Horsemanship, Trail, and Ranch Horse for the 14 and up age group. According to Kyia, showing horses is what really taught her to be a showman.
What she enjoys showing the most, however, is her cattle. Kyia shows them not only in 4-H, but also in various jackpots and other show events. This year she competed in 12-13 jackpots and also placed in the top four at both the North American Livestock Expedition and the Western National Stock Show. The award she was most proud of receiving at this year’s Lake County Fair was the Grand Champion Beef Breeding animal which she won with her heifer. Her heifer is now bred and Kyia is planning to show her next year in the cow-calf pair category.
One heifer she was not so happy with at this year’s fair was her dairy heifer. Sirens and kids spooked the critter — which was the only one in the show ring at the time — and she stepped on Kyia’s broken ankle and also knocked her to the ground. Proving she is tough, Kyia got up and continued to show and won a purple ribbon in her class - but ‘only’ a blue in showmanship.
Kyia also showed numerous poultry — chickens and ducks — as well as several rabbits. Although she won Sr. Grand showmanship awards with both her show chicken and her show rabbit, she could only take one to the small animal round robin so chose to take her chicken, Gloria.
After showing in both the Sr. large animal and Sr. small animal showmanship round robins and winning those events, Kyia and her animals had won 27 Grand Champion Rosettes, 8 Reserve Champion Rosettes and numerous other ribbons.
Kyia has one more year of high school and hopes to do as well at next year’s fair. After that she will be on her way to Montana State University to become either a pre-vet or pre-med student. Her experiences in 4-H and FFA have certainly provided a very solid experience for the hard work and leadership roles that are ahead of her in school and career.