Reserve champion pig

Jacey Sharkey, of the Caddo Mills 4H, shows off her reserve champion pig.

It’s a wrap on another Hunt County Fairgrounds and Livestock Show.

Despite challenges from threatening weather, thousands turned our for the fair and it was capped by a Cinco de Mayo-themed Sunday at the fairgrounds. However, one of the biggest days was on Saturday during the annual Sale of Champions.

Colt Cooper has an extraordinary schedule but on Saturday he was doing something that is a little bit different than what he will be soon expected to do at Abilene Christian University.

A high school football standout, who will compete in this weekend’s University Interscholastic League state track and field championships, Cooper was busying himself with grooming, combing and making sure his prized goat was ready to be shown off on Saturday for potential buyers at the Hunt County Fair Junior Livestock Show Sale of Champions.

The hard work that Cooper put in resulted in a Grand Champion award for his market goat, but the Quinlan Ford High School senior is hoping that his goat will be able to live out a long life at home.

“My goats are just like dogs,” Cooper said. “I will love on them for 20 minutes and whenever I walk away he yells for me to come back. He’s like my little dog in the house. I love him just the same.”

On a muggy and overcast day, Cooper was just one of hundreds of Hunt County 4H and Future Farmers of America students who saw their animals and mechanical projects purchased during the annual sale, which raises tens of thousands of dollars toward scholarships for the students.

Cooper, for one, will not really need it because he’s got a full scholarship to play football at Abilene Christian. He’s also an record-setting powerlifter and is expected to be in contention for a state 4-A championship in the shot and discus.

Cooper’s workout schedule is nearly four hours per day, he follows that up with homework and he often works into the night to care for his goats.

“It’s a lot of hours,” said Cooper, who could be in contention to see playing time as a tight end at Abilene Christian in the fall. “I’m at the barn really late. It’s dark. Whenever I get home, about six every night, from track, I spend about two hours (in the barn) and I work my goats.”

The buyers were made up of dozens of local businesses and those looking for a great animal to purchase, and the sales were fast and furious. Bryan Beezley, along with his family, traveled down from Bonham to enjoy the day and make an attempt to purchase his nephew’s market lamb.

Beezeley, an electrician, was successful in purchasing nephew Justin Richey’s lamb, but he also spotted a cattle grate that was a mechanical project by one of the students and he grabbed that as well.

On this day, as people started to trickle into the penultimate of the fair, buyers purchased chickens, rabbits, lambs, goats, steer and a lot of pigs, who strutted into the arena with an air of confidence.

While Cooper goes to school in Quinlan, he was part of the Caddo Mills 4H, which had a big day on Saturday. The club’s Jacey Sharkey earned a reserve champion award for her pig, while her club mate, Colt King earned a reserve champion for his goat. Caddo Mills was the only program to earn three of the major awards. Lone Oak, Bland and Quinlan each had two each in the reserve and grand champion awards.

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