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Area shines at annual State Fair

Posted on Wednesday, August 21, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Before and After. Kellen Ekern of Mexico, son of Kirk and Kim Ekern and Kasey Gatson.

Before and After. Kellen Ekern of Mexico, son of Kirk and Kim Ekern and Kasey Gatson.

The Gatson family was among several area families who experienced success competing in some of the several contests held during the Missouri State Fair August 8-18 in Sedalia.
Gatson Hampshires, featuring Adam and Julie Gatson and family, of Vandalia, won the Premier Exhibitor Award for Hampshire sheep in the open show on August 13. Highlights include winning Grand Champion Ram, second place yearling ewe, and winning the flock class.
In the Montadale open show, Abilene and Kasey, daughters of Adam and Julie Gatson, combined with their cousins to show under the name Baugh and Dunn, Jr. They were awarded Reserve Champion ram on their ram lamb. They were beat out for Champion Ram by their grandparent’s yearling ram, Baugh and Dunn, of Middletown.
Earlier in the fair, Kasey and Abilene exhibited in the FFA sheep show. In Hampshires, Kasey exhibited the Champion Ram and Champion Ewe while Abilene’s ewe lamb was named Reserve Champion. In the FFA Southdown breeding sheep show, Abilene’s Yearling ewe won her class and was named Champion Ewe and her ram lamb was Reserve Champion Ram. In the Montadale portion of the FFA breeding sheep show, Kasey had the Champion Ram and Champion and Reserve Champion Ewes.  Kasey was also chosen as one of two winners overall in FFA showmanship.
On Saturday night, August 10, the 4-H/FFA fitting contest was held. Contestants were divided by age and given a washed sheep to fit for show. In the Intermediate division, Abilene placed first and received a belt buckle sponsored by Dr Helen Swartz, professor emeritus Lincoln University. Kasey, one of only two people who have won all three age divisions, competed in the team portion of the contest with Kellen Ekern of Mexico, Mo. and they also won first place.
On Sunday, August 11, a Sheep Leadline contest was held where contestants wear wool outfits and lead a sheep trimmed for show on a halter. Abilene won first place in her age division and her sister, Cheyenne Gatson, was second in her division.
The list of other winners, as according to results posted on the Missouri State Fair website,