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Rylie Lear takes grand master showman title for 3rd straight year

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 July 2019 at 11:53 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

KNOWLESVILLE – Rylie Lear leads a dairy animal in the livestock arena on Friday during the Grand Master Showman Competition. Rylie, 19, of Waterport won the competition, one of the prestigious at the fair, for the third straight year.

She qualified after winning the beef showmanship competition. The Grand Master Showman contest includes the top showman in nine different animals: horse Western, horse English, dairy goat, meat goat, sheep, swine, llama, dairy cattle and beef cattle.

Rylie just finished her freshman year at SUNY Cobleskill, where she is majoring in agricultural business. She is considering a career as a nutritionist in the livestock industry.

“It’s fun to share my passion for livestock with the public,” Rylie said after the competition.

She said it takes a lot of work each year getting animals ready for the fair. She said one key to showing is building trust with the animals.

Melissa Keller, one of the judges, said Rylie stood out in the competition.

“She has a general knowledge of all the species,” Keller said. “She is calm in all situations.”

Nicole Mrzywka, 18, of Holley gets ready to lead a dairy animal into the show ring. Nicole finished as the reserve master showman for the fourth straight year. She and Rylie are cousins.

The master showmen pose for the cameras Friday after the 2 1/2 hour competition to determine the grand master showman. Each person qualified for Friday’s event by either winning the master showman for an animal or being reserve champion. The group and what breed they qualified for includes, from left: Gabby Uderitz (English Horse), Allison Merle (Llama), Kaitlin Bennett (Dairy), Kaylee Nesbitt (Western Horse), Rylie Lear (Beef Cattle), Nicole Mrzywka (Dairy Goat), Ruth Kuipers (Swine), Amelia Paramore (Meat Goat) and Emma Mathes (Sheep).

Amelia Paratore, 9, of Barre keeps her eyes on the judge while showing a dairy animal.

Emma Mathes, 17, of Barre shows a dairy cow during the competition.

Melissa Keller, one of the judges for the Grand Master Showman Competition, watches some of the nine participants show meat goats. From left are 4-H’ers Gabby Uderitz, Kaitlin Bennett, Emma Mathes, Kaylee Nesbitt and Nicole Mrzywka.

Kaitlin Bennett, 10, of Barre leads a llama during the competition. She said the sheep and goats were the toughest to show. The sheep don’t have a halter to hang on to, and the goats “like to jump.”

The master showmen lead llamas in the show ring in front of judge Elizabeth Bentley and Barb Kurzowski, the llama superintendent.

Ruth Kuipers, 9, of Byron is in her element with the portion of the competition that included pigs. Ruth qualified for her swine showmanship skills.

The pigs were challenge to keep under control during the competition. Allison Merle is at center right with Kaylee Nesbitt behind her.

Gabby Uderitz, 17, of Albion is out of her comfort zone showing a dairy animal during the Grand Master Showman Competition. She qualified after winning the English Horse competition.

“It was an honor,” she said about being in the competition. “But it was really hard.”

She said the dairy and beef animals were the toughest to show because of their size. Sometimes they didn’t want to move.

Kaylee Nesbitt, 16, of Lyndonville keeps a steer under control.

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