By Teresa Holloway-Hewett
Proud pet parents and their beloved pals were beaming at the Porth Ag Arena Tuesday, April 7, as coveted awards were handed out by Houston County Fair Queen Graycie Gibbins and Fair Princess Meredith Tuggle.
Ribbons and cash were flowing from royal hands as they gracefully kept pace with the judge's decisions at the annual pet show sponsored by KIVY Radio.
Every child and pet excelled in the category entered, and the decisions were challenging.
James Alford, pet judge, was in his element as he examined every aspect of the pet. He noted points for teamwork, grooming, manners and showmanship.
No judge has had a tougher decision. Earnest faces, furry faces, billed faces and green faces waited, hot and dusty, for his decision.
When the awards were in, the winning lineup was Rylee Wilson and "Ellie" for Best Mannered; Baylee Omelina and "Bella" took home Best Team. Brody McDaniel and "Tiny Tuck the Turtle" won Showmanship.
Hannah Huffstuttler and "Bella" were judged Best Groomed. Best of Show went to Rylie Beaver and "Gus".
In the Pure Breed under 25 lbs. category, Avery Huff and "Hochi" took first place. Kyra Rogers and "Hunter" came behind in a close second. Kaisten Richardson and "Molly" won third. Kade Stephens and "Buster" won fourth place.
Pure Breed over 25 lbs. saw many winners, and some sibling competition. Landry Beaver and "Gus" won first place. Hannah Huffstuttler and "Bella" took second; Laney Smith and "Pearl" won third.
Bailey Omelina and "Bella" were in fourth place, followed by Michael Omelina and "Dynamite" in fifth. Carter Tucker with "June Bug" won sixth, and Curt Tucker and "Josey" were in seventh.
Rylee Wilson and "Ellie" came in at eighth, with Kealy Green and "Toby" won ninth. Tenth place went to Hunter Coker and "Freya".
For the Mixed Breed under 25 lbs. category, Kaylee Satterly and "NayNay" proudly took home first place. Delaney Murray and "Sparky" won second. Sunny Gros and "Sully" captured third, with Marley Gros taking home fourth place.
In the Mixed Breed over 25 lbs. arena, Cleve Allen Showed "Jenna" and won first place. Kate Allen and "Cat" grabbed second, and Brian Wacha and "Kratos" won third.
For the furry feline Cats division, Emma Gibson showed a sleepy "Tiger" on her arm and carried home the first place trophy.
Miscellaneous animals category is always fun. This year the winners include Shelby Waldrep; her "Gabe the Guinea Pig" was really on the ball as they won first place.
Toby Curless put "Lucky" the alpaca through his paces and won second place.
Brody McDaniel and "Tiny Tuck the Turtle" made another showing, this time taking home third place.
Josie Ditoro beamed "Darth Vader the Duck" straight into fourth place. Darcie Corcoran and "Squeaker the Duck" squeaked into fifth.
Zoey Jimenez and "Mr. T. the Turtle" knocked out the competition, bringing in sixth.
Harlie Hoch was on the case with "Deputy the Turtle" and won seventh. Lilly Omelina and "Quackers the Duck" won eighth place.
Proud pet owners and proud pets - in the words of Alford, "Everyone who came out here is a winner!"