Ariel Burden reclaimed the honors of showing the Ellis County Youth Expo Grand Champion hog Wednesday evening. Burden won the top prize for three consecutive years prior to last year’s expo, when her younger sister, Autumn, won the hog show grand champion title.

Wednesday night, Burden worked her way through the ranks, first winning her weight class for Hampshire breeds. Through the evening’s competition, her grandfather, Marcus Phillips stood behind the holding pens with a watchful eye,offering encouragement and some coaching during each drive.

She went to the ring competing against all the first place breed weight class winners to win the top award ribbon for her breed.

Burden entered the ring for the final grand champion drive with five other breed winning competitors. Show judge Zack Wilcox announced her as the grand champion. Burden is a sophomore at Ennis High School and a member of the Ennis FFA.

The overall reserve champion ribbon went to Josh Longfellow, also from Ennis FFA. Longfellow was also the Hampshire breed reserve winner.

Several of the breed champions came from the Ennis FFA as other members also took top awards in the Duroc and cross-bred hog classes. Katelyn Lathey showed the Duroc breed grand champion with the reserve champion being won by Landon Emmert. Cross breed winners were Jayden Phillips showing the grand champion and Cole Macon took the reserve champion title.

Lane Schlottman from Ennis was the Black (Other Purebred) OPB Grand Champion winner. The reserve winner was Shannon Butler from Waxahachie FFA.

In the white OPB group, Kaylee Morwood from Midlothian FFA was the white OPB grand champion with Cortland Bates of Waxahachie FFA taking the reserve champion honors.

The Midlothian FFA won both the grand and reserve champion awards for the Yorkshire breed. Haylee Clarke was the grand champion. Ashlyn Summers took home the reserve champion banner.

“I attribute a great amount of the kids’ success to a great group of parents and volunteers. They really help me and help the kids to achieve the success they have enjoyed today,” Ennis Agricultural Science instructor Amber Huckabee said.

This was Wilson’s first year to judge the Ellis County swine show, Wilson has been the Nolan County Agrilife Extension agent for 18 years. He has raised show swine since 1998.

“All the animals I looked at today were good quality. The quality of the breed champions were as good as any county show I’ve judged. I was well pleased with the quality of the breed champions,” Wilson said.

The other contest of the evening was the Pee Wee show and the junior and senior showmanship awards. All of the pee wee exhibitors received participation ribbon.

In the junior division, Ashlyn Summers won the best showmanship ribbon. The senior showmanship went to Landon Emmert of Ennis High School.

“This is a great experience for these kids. They learn lessons about responsibility and other life lessons that will stay with them all their lives,” Wilson said.

The exposition will continued Thursday with the lamb and goat show followed by the heifer and steer show on Friday evening. The auction sale will be held Saturday morning.

Pick up Friday’s Waxahachie Daily Light to see the results of the lamb and goat show, then look for the auction sale and heifer/steer show in Sunday’s Daily Light.