August 1, 2021

Heard High Senior Takes Home Big Prize at Lamb Show

The Heard County 4-H Lamb Show took place yesterday at the covered arena in Franklin. The 11th annual event drew some of the best lambs from all across both Georgia and Alabama.

Despite the fierce competition the only local entrant, Heard High School Senior Ms. Haley Cook, took home the Grand Championship Buckle for the best overall lamb at the meet.

Haley was very happy to win in her last appearance at this show. She has been an active competitor since she was in the 2nd grade.

There are two phases to the competition which lasts most of the day and is limited to sheep that are less than one year old. In the showmanship portion of the event, the lambs are merely the sideshow and the primary focus is on the person showing the animal.

This year’s judge Mr. Aaron Henderson from Kilmichael, Mississippi had to make some very difficult decisions as the competition was very intense. Prizes were awarded for showmanship in grade categories from the 1st grade all the way through the 12th grade.

Haley Cook finished 2nd in this portion of the competition to Ms. Blair Taylor, a very experienced Senior from Chambers Academy in Alabama.

One of the most entertaining rounds of competition was the “Pee-Wee” class of showmanship where little kids from kindergarten and under are brought out to get a chance to experience showing a lamb.

Some of these very small kids needed assistance from adults as the lambs can be very difficult to handle, but the judge brought a lot of smiles to each of them as each was awarded a first place trophy.

After the showmanship concluded, the focus shifted to the lambs themselves in the market competition where individual lambs are judged on several physical and behavioral factors to determine which presents the highest market value. In this category lambs are separated into 15 classes based on weight with lambs ranging all the way from 59-149 pounds.

At the conclusion of the judging of each weight class, all market class 1st place winners are brought back before the judge once again to allow him the chance to pick the overall Grand Champion.

During this round of the competition two young ladies clearly stood out above the rest and they were Haley Cook and Hannah Morgan who had each received three blue ribbons in the market class alone. (Each participant is allowed to show up to four different lambs in this part of the competition)

As all of the 1st place winning lambs were brought back out, Judge Henderson faced a very difficult decision. He told The Citizen that of the 15-20 shows he judges all over the southeast each year this was definitely one of the best with lots of polished animals and handlers on display.

Faced with the difficult task of judging the best of the best our own Haley Cook (Breeder: Mike and Myra Stamey)was narrowly chosen by Henderson as the Grand Champion over Hannah Morgan (Breeder: Southern Cross Farm) who was named the Reserve Champion. Both girls were very excited about their awards as they posed for pictures with custom belt buckles, ribbons, and a substantial cash prize for each of them.

Haley received $300 and Hannah $250. Haley explained to us how she was originally encouraged to show lambs in the second grade by her uncle.

She stated that she loves the competitive outlet it has provided to her over the years since she doesn’t play sports and she also mentioned the many valuable life skills she has learned from taking on the responsibility and effort required to raise competition lambs.

Even though Haley was the only official local entrant, Heard County firefighter/EMT Daniel Evans brought his whole family including his wife, four children, and four lambs from Cleburne County, AL for this competition.

Ms. Dinah Rowe and all the other event staff did a great job hosting the big show including the announcer Mr. Wayne Chesnut, the ringmaster Ms. Emily Pike, and of course the judge Mr. Henderson who traveled such a long distance for the show. To see all the photos from the show visit The Heard Citizen on Facebook.


  1. Gracie Rowe says

    This was such a great article! Yayy 4-H 🙂

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: