TROY — Kids “scrambled” to catch cows, pigs, sheep, goats and chickens during the Miami County Fair’s Livestock Scramble on Monday.
Livestock Scramble participants, whose ages ranged from children as young as 4 to teenagers in high school, came from all over the county to catch animals in a ring at the fairground grandstands.
The Scramble started out with 4-year-olds catching chickens and ducks. The birds were much faster than the kids, but they were all captured within a few minutes.
Bruce Hutchinson, 4, managed to catch a duck nearly half his size.
“I caught a duck!” Hutchinson exclaimed afterward. “I ran really fast and I caught it. I also caught a chicken.”
As older age groups began to play, the animals they had to catch became bigger — and more difficult.
Jeralyn Leland, 10, who attends Newton Elementary School, won her competition by subduing a sheep before anyone else could. Leland said she wanted to win this year because she wasn’t able to catch anything last year.
“Last year, I didn’t get one,” Leland said. “This year, I was confident that I would get one.”
Leland, who used a rope to lasso the sheep, said she had to go to extra effort to win first place in her round.
“They were up in the corner and I pushed my way through and grabbed the neck, put (the rope) around, and pulled the rope really hard,” she said.
Leland said she attended the event because she likes “catching things.”
Kaden Thompson, 12, who goes to school at Covington, grabbed a goat by the fur to win first place during his round. After he won, Thompson watched the rest of the round from within the ring, shouting advice to other kids.
“I told them, ‘get it,’” Thompson explained.
Eventually, large pigs and then calves entered the ring for the oldest groups. Brayden Peake, a freshman at Bethel High School, quickly snared a pig to come in first during his round.
“I wouldn’t say it was easy,” Peake said. “It’s more I’ve done this my whole life, so it’s like natural instinct to me. I just always took an interest in getting down and dirty … it’s kind of in my blood.”
Miami County Fair Director Scott Pence said the event, originally conceived in the 1970s, was brought back in the last few years due to high demand.
“It’s really been a success,” Pence said. “We really like to get the youth of Miami County involved.”
Reach Bennett Leckrone firstname.lastname@example.org