Jun 5, 2012 - By Joshua Scheer, Staff WriterSaturday morning at the Fremont County Fairgrounds belonged to the hogs.
Sure, there were other animals on the grounds -- sheep, cattle and horses warming up for the rodeo -- but the swine were the loudest.
Their squeals and oinks could be heard across the property in south Riverton.
At about 9 a.m., participants in the Youth Livestock Show wrangled their pigs through a chute for a weigh-in before the show.
The swine show was set to begin at 9:30 a.m., but it didn't start until more than an hour later.
That gave the participants, who came from across the state and some from beyond, plenty of time to prep their hogs.
The stables at times rocked with the screams and squeals of the swine, other times quieting down. The children and teens talked with friends and parents, while occasionally spritzing the animals with water and brushing them. Some swine got a shower in the wash stalls.
After all the pigs had been weighed, the cattle and the sheep took their turn at the scales.
Kirby Hales, 12, of Laramie, said this was his first time at the Spectacular's youth show.
He said he and his family travel a lot for shows, and after hearing about this one, he decided to try it out.
"I love it," Hales said of raising swine for the last five years.
"It's the experience of getting to own your own animal" that Hales said he likes best.
Raising hogs, he said, has taught him leadership, animal husbandry and responsibility.
"I'm going to be doing this until the day I die," Hales said.
Millie Hopkin, 14, said she's been raising swine for three years.
She lives outside of Riverton and said she likes taking her younger pigs to the Spectacular show because it gets them ready for the Fremont County Fair in mid-summer.
Hopkin said it gets them used to the noise and crowds.
"It gives me something to work toward," she said of why she enjoys raising the animals.
"Just having them there" is the best part. She said they become like pets, and when it's time to sell them it can be hard.
Brooke Corcoran, 18, of Billings, Mont., was participating in the Riverton youth show for the second time.
She said last year went well, despite the fact that she showed three market hogs, a heifer and a steer.
This year she's limited herself to three hogs.
"They're all from North Dakota," she said. "They're a bunch of babies."
Corcoran said she enjoys raising pigs because of their personality and said taking care of them is so time consuming that she'd probably have more friends without them.
"I try not to name them, because I get so attached," she said.
She graduated from high school in May and plans to attend Montana State University Billings College of Technology for a degree in radiology.
Ultimately, Corcoran said, she might want to be a veterinarian tech, providing X-ray services for animals.
Riverton's 11-year-old Peyton Reese has been raising pigs for three years, but this was his first time at the Spring Spectacular show.
He had three animals to show. Getting them clipped is the hardest part of the job, Reese said, because his pigs won't sit down long enough.
Dylan Grant, 12, of Jackson, was showing a few swine with his 8-year-old brother, Derek.
Dylan has been raising pigs for years.
"I wouldn't call it a pro, but I know what I'm doing," he said.
This is Derek's first year working with pigs.
"I like being dirty," he said. "I like just spending time with them, training with them."
This was the family's first time at the Riverton show, and both said they were having a good time so far.
Get your copy of The Ranger online, every day! If you are a current print subscriber and want to also access dailyranger.com online (there is nothing more to purchase) including being able to download The Mining and Energy Edition, click here. Looking to start a new online subscription to dailyranger.com (even if it is for just one day)? Access our secure SSL encrypted server and start your subscription now by clicking here.