PNT Photo: Lisa Sonnenschein
When Leighton Franz finished getting ready to go to the Greased Pig Chase at the Roosevelt County Fair Wednesday night, he told his mother, “I’m ready to go get me a pig.”
Leighton, 8, put his fleet feet and determination behind his words and won his age division against 17 competitors.
“When the other kids pile on top of you, you just have to get them out of the way and keep running after the pig.”
Leighton’s mother, Amie Franz, said she had a special reason for being so happy he won.
“Our two older children, Theta and Gage, won their age groups in the Greased Pig Chase five years ago for the five-year-olds and eight-year-olds,” she said. “Leighton is the youngest, so now all of them have won a pig chase. I’m so thankful.”
McCray Clark, 4, of Portales still was grinning from ear to ear outside the hog barn, even though he didn’t win in his age group.
“I had fun!” he said. “I liked trying to get the ribbon.”
From the moment McCray and 45 other preschoolers started running, the first little pig didn’t stand a chance as the crowd of youngsters converged on and appeared to tackle it.
When the dust cleared, Myren Nixon took the trophy in the preschool division.
Just before his event, Shelden Breshears, 7, talked about how his plans even though he had never seen a pig chase before.
“All I know is you try to pull the ribbon off the pig; that’s all I know,” he said.
His friend, W.T. Whitecotton, 7, said he won his age group at last year’s fair but wasn’t sure about the best strategy.
“I don’t know; I just grabbed the ribbon,” he said.
His sister, Tanna Whitecotton, 11, who was getting ready to show three pigs Wednesday night following the chase, said she helped her brother train.
“He’s been watching me when I used to do it and he loves to do it,” she said.
But Tanna said she thinks showing pigs is more difficult than chasing one around the arena.
“You really have to watch your pig and the judge is watching you,” she said. “And when you’re showing pigs, if your pig runs off, you can’t chase it — even though you want to chase it.”
Fourth-grader Micah Massey, 10, of Rogers said she gave her 5-year-old sister, Sarah, advice, as well.
“I just told her to run really fast,” Micah said. “She did it last year and she did pretty good. It’s just fun to try to see them catch it.”
Gowan Hays, 9, of Dora said he came because he wanted to watch several of his younger friends compete.
“It’s just funny,” he said. “Everybody is just chasing the pig and stuff.”
Other winners of the trophies in the Greased Pig Chase included:
• 5-year-olds: Cooper Davis (20 contestants);
• 6-year-olds: Dalton Privett 13 contestants); and
• 7-year-olds: Joe Banister (23 contestants).