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A group of eight- to ten-year-olds flank the pigs during the Catch a Pig Contest. Photo by Carly Winchell

The Catch a Pig Contest at the 2023 Chaffee County Fair and Rodeo took place in the main arena in front of the grandstands. As the time for the contest to begin drew near, a temporary fence was erected to create a smaller area for the kids to chase their quarry.

The oldest group takes off in pursuit of victory during the Catch a Pig Contest. Photo by Carly Winchell

Crowds gathered as the fence was placed, a buzz going through the attendees as the kids excitedly awaited their chance at glory. The contest featured three age groups, four to five, six to seven, and eight to ten.

The rules were fairly simple. Each group of contestants had to stand against the fence until the race officially began. Then the kids needed to catch a pig, have complete control over the wrangled pig, and bring it to the judge in the center of the ring.

The first place for each group received a $50 gift card to Murdoch’s Ranch & Home Supply, the second place a $30 gift card, and the third place a $15 gift card.

Before initiating the race, the two older groups of kids were asked to expend some energy by doing push-ups, running across the larger arena, and performing jumping jacks. The difficulty level was also raised with each age group by requiring the older kids to carry the pigs rather than just drag them to victory, with the eight- to ten-year-olds needing to fully lift the captured pig in their arms for it to count.

After flurries of dust and squeals, here are the final standings:

Ages Four to Five

A contestant carrying a captured pig to the judge during the Catch a Pig Contest. Photo by Carly Winchell

  1. Laine Adams, age five from Howard
  2. Colt Adams, age four from Howard
  3. Mabel Holman (no age listed), from Tijeras

Ages Six to Seven

  1. Finn Hernandez, age seven from Longmont
  2. Olive Hovland, age seven from Salida
  3. Seneca Uphamfield, age seven from Salida

Ages Eight to Ten

  1. Kian McGovern, age nine from Salida
  2. Lile Inge, age ten from Salida
  3. Logan McGovern, age nine from Salida

This evening there is a Salida Circus Show in the North Building at 5:00 p.m. and at 6:30 p.m. the Grand Entry into the Rodeo Arena begins, followed at 6:45 p.m. by the Ranch Rodeo & Calcutta. There is no admission fee for either the Ranch Rodeo, or the 9:00 p.m. performance by the Jason Wulf Band.

There is only one more day left to enjoy the Chaffee County Fair. Check out the schedule from our previous coverage and head down before things close down Sunday, July 30.