MIAMI COUNTY — Patience paid off for Covington’s Bryan Miller in the show ring Tuesday night.
Miller, 18, was tapped as the Miami County Fair Jr. Market Barrow Grand Champion.
Darby Welbaum, 14, of West Milton, won Reserve Grand Champion.
Getting that coveted handshake rendered Miller speechless right after the show.
“It’s the feeling I’ve been waiting for,”said Miller moments after he won. Miller has had varying success in the hog barn, but had never won the competition outright in the final drive. “It was the goal all summer was the win this show and it’s a fun feeling. The goal was to win this show and we got it done.”
Miller participated in the Sale of Champions Wednesday evening. He’ll then show hogs at the Indiana State Fair before heading to college at Wilmington College to study animal science and marketing.
“It still hasn’t sunk in, it won’t for awhile,” he said.
His mother Debi held back tears as she waited in the aisles watching her son celebrate with handshakes and hugs from his supporters.
“This has been his goal for a long time,” she said.
In a previous interview, Miller shared his slice of 4-H life advice for youth involved in the show barn life.
“I didn’t win my first class at the county fair until the 2014 fair, four years ago. I used to always end up placing 6-12 in the pens and still do sometimes, but I never quit working at it. I was always trying to learn and soak up as much information as I could. I have been very fortunate with the success my family has had in the ring, but we still have some pigs not turn out and we just know that’s part of it. It’s just a lesson for younger kids to never give up at what they’re working at or what their passion may be, the success will come … just be patient.”
Welbaum wiped tears of joy from her eyes as after the show.
“Sorry I’m shaking,” she told fair staff as she signed off on testing paperwork. “It was really fun. I worked super hard this year. Harder than normal I should say. I just had some awesome people help me along the way. Scott and Tyler Clark and the rest of the family. My mom, my dad and my brother.”
Welbaum won Reserve Grand Champion in 2014, but said this year’s win was exciting.
“It’s been a long time coming,” she said.
She will be a freshman at Milton-Union High School. She is the daughter of Carrie and Matt Welbaum.