The End of a Year: Supreme Showman and Reserve Supreme Showman talk their win and year of 4-H

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Claire Bishop, left, and Morgan Stone embrace as Bishop was named Supreme Grand Champion and Stone named as the Reserve Champion in the Supreme Showmanship at the Hancock County 4-H Fair. Thursday, June 23, 2022.

Tom Russo | Daily Reporter

By Elissa Maudlin

HANCOCK COUNTY — This year, Claire Bishop was declared Grand Champion for sewing construction, sewing fashion revue, consumer fashion revue, consumer clothing notebook, do-your-own-thing, team demonstration (verbal communications) and middle weight wether. She was Reserve Grand Champion of Senior Swine Showman and Simsolution Beef Heifer, and was crowned the Hancock County Fair Queen. Thursday, she was declared Supreme Showman of the 2022 4-H fair.

After her final win, Claire and her dad asked the same question, as she has one more year left in 4-H: how will she top this year?

“It’s been an amazing week …” Jim Bishop, Claire’s dad, said. “This is the perfect way to cap it off, and there’s no better thing to see when your kid does what they love and they do it well. I’m very proud of her.” He addded that he tried to do a lot of the things Claire has done this year back in his 10 years as a 4-Her and has “never had a year like she’s had this year.”

Claire said she increased the amount of animals she showed and felt more confident this year. She qualified for the Supreme Showman competition last year but didn’t place and “was disappointed.”

“I’m learning to still work when I don’t think I have a shot to win because I used to be very scared to compete if I didn’t think I’d have a shot,” she said. “ … my mindset changed to the point where I’m like, ‘Yes, I can do this. Like yeah, okay, it’s a 1,400 pound animal, but I can lead it, right?’”

This year, since she gave out ribbons as fair queen, she watched every livestock show and said she studied other showmans’ hand movements and transitions with their animal.

She said this win “has made [her] fair week.”

“So next year, I have to top this,” Claire said. “I don’t know how I’m gonna do that, but we’ll figure it out.”

She chalked up her success at different events throughout her 4-H career to hard work and her family.

She said she woke up at 5:30 a.m. to work the animals before school and built relationships with the animals through things like feeding in the evening.

“[I like] learning how they work and how their minds work,” she said. “I think that’s just really cool to fully understand your animal before showing it.”

When it comes to her family, she said she didn’t want to come to competition last night because of feeling overwhelmed, stress, heat and tiredness. However, her mom told her she was going since she qualified. Claire said “this is a huge success. Not just for [her] but [for her] whole family.”

“Even though last night we could’ve fought, even though this morning no one wanted to get up out of bed, we all came together,” she said. “They were on the sidelines cheering for me every time we entered and exited the ring. And that’s really what got me here.”

Morgan Stone, Reserve Supreme Showman, said her placing validated her showman skills. She has shown all five species before and said “being in the ring [is] an amazing feeling.”

As a 10-year member, she cried as she thought about her last time in the ring.

“It’s hard because it’s like my favorite thing in the world to do,” she said through her tears.

Elliana Cole, her cousin, said she is really sad and is “gonna cry when [Morgan] leaves” for college next school year. When Morgan’s name was called as Reserve Supreme Champion, Cole said she felt a rush of energy and was happy she achieved the title.

Both Cole and Morgan’s sister, Taylor Stone, said she put a lot of hard work into this.

Morgan has won Reserve Supreme Champion before, in the 2020 makeup Supreme Showman competition.

“Just like the judges said, she’s very competitive and I think she’ll do well in life too …” Marla Stone, her mom, said with tears.

She said there have been times when Morgan would not want to show animals at 4-H and she’d have to push her “past [her] comfort zone,” and other times she didn’t want Morgan to show and Morgan would tell her she’s doing it.

Morgan said she would recommend 4-H to everyone who wants to do it because’s “it’s definitely an amazing experience.”

“It’s been an amazing journey,” she said. “It’s definitely made me who I am today.”

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