Today is the end of an era for a young Doerun woman who has been showing animals for a decade.
“[This] is my last show,” said Elaine Hurst after weighing in for today’s Colquitt County Junior Livestock Show.
The show begins at noon at the Ag Complex off Veterans Parkway. Sales will begin about 7 p.m. The public is invited to watch the show and to participate in the sale.
Hurst started showing lambs when she was in second grade. She has also shown goats and hogs, and in cattle shows she’s shown both steers and heifers.
Now, all the shows are over for the year except for steers, and that wraps up today.
Hurst has seen much success. She started showing goats in ninth grade, and that competition was memorable.
“That was the first county goat show in Colquitt County and I was grand champion,” she recalled.
Her lambs have been grand champions in the county show four times, including the last three years in a row, and she’s had many reserve champions.
“I like to compete,” she said, “and to meet new people. … It feels good to win.”
Livestock shows have two categories — showmanship and class. In showmanship, the competitor’s presentation is judged, including how they carry themselves and how well they answer the judge’s questions. The animal itself is judged in its class, in which the judges rank similar animals based on established criteria.
Hurst has won many times in showmanship, class or both.
She attributes her success to practice. “Practice every day to become the best you can be,” she said.
Hurst grew up around livestock. Her father, Thomas Hurst, farms near Doerun, with cattle a part of his farming operation.
“He showed when he could,” she said, “and I learned a lot from him.”
Now her cousin, sixth-grader Cameron Brinson, shows livestock, and Elaine Hurst is helping him develop his talent.
The family commitment is a big part of showing livestock, she said. Her mother is a first-grade teacher at Odom Elementary School.
“I’m very lucky to have my family to support me, to pay the bills and get me good livestock,” she said.
A senior at Colquitt County High School, where she participates in FFA and 4-H, Hurst will graduate in May. After that, she plans to go to college, although she isn’t sure where yet.