All week at the Scioto County Fair, the 4H showing competitions have all led up to one single event. The Showman of Showmen took place at the end of the week on Friday night, and recognized Mckinley Flinders as Champion Showman.
The Showman of Showmen is a competition between all of the first-place winning showmen of each species. They then compete against each other, showing every single species, with one declared the winner. They are the best of the best.
There were eight competitors total who represented the best of their species. The competitors were as follows: Tanner Spradlin (Swine), Cody Finley (Goat), McKinley Flinders (Rabbit), Talen Coriell (Sheep), Kelsey Shope (Beef), Kathaleen Kuhn (Poultry), Baylee Martin (Horse), and Marissa Risner (Dairy).
Beaming a smile from ear to ear, Flinders was filled with excitement at the end of the 2 hour event with a trophy in hand. This was her first year of eligibility to compete for Showman of Showmen.
“I’m absolutely ecstatic right now,” Flinders said. “I’ve been working toward this for nine years, and I never thought it would actually happen. Winning this was a bucket list thing for me.”
4H has been a consistent staple in Flinders’ life. She began at the age of 10 years old, with one single rabbit, but now she does much more.
“I’ve expanded a lot, and I’ve learned a lot,” Flinders said. “I began with one rabbit, and now I have 9 or 10 rabbits. Now I also do beef and heifers. This is just something I’ve looked forward to for a very long time. This has been my life since I was little. I can’t imagine doing anything else. This is what I work for every day.”
Some 4H competitors only have a few days to study how to show all of the other animals. Flinders couldn’t have completed this task alone.
“I was fortunate because I found out on Tuesday that I won, so I had a couple of days to study,” Flinders said. “I also had some amazing people that have helped me along the way. The whole Furman family has been amazing. My advisors have taught me how to perfectly show a rabbit and my club has always been super supportive. We’re always pounding it into our heads.”
This isn’t the end for Flinders. She still hopes to pursue Outstanding Exhibitor and someday, Fair Queen. Flinders will be someone to watch out for in the upcoming years of 4H.