Jelly Bean, Niles teen advance to fair’s showmanship sweepstakes
Published 5:20 pm Thursday, August 15, 2013
BERRIEN SPRINGS — A Niles teenager has punched her ticket to the small animal showmanship sweepstakes.
The judges were sweet on 15-year-old Ariel Reynolds’ performance with Jelly Bean — a millefleur chicken — in the poultry showmanship competition Tuesday at the Berrien County Youth Fair.
So sweet, they crowned Reynolds grand champion poultry showman, which means she’ll compete in the overall small animal showmanship sweepstakes this morning.
“It’s definitely my best finish,” said Reynolds, who has been showing poultry, including ducks and chickens, since she was 5. “I think all the years of experience really helped me this time. My two [older] brothers also give me advice, so that helps too.”
Showing poultry requires a lot of memorization. After posing the bird, Reynolds said she had to explain to a judge the different parts of the bird, its functions and what a judge would be looking for.
“Last year I forgot part of the feather, which really hurt my score,” she said.
The judge then asks a few bird-related questions, which, if answered incorrectly, lower the score.
“The judge asked me to give an example of a five-toed bird, which I was confident on because we’ve raised them,” she said.
Today’s showmanship sweepstakes will include all winners from the small animal divisions of rabbits, poultry, cats and dogs.
Reynolds, and the others, will have to show each of the aforementioned animals in a round robin format.