When: Friday, Aug. 9
Registration: 5 p.m.
Contest: 6 p.m.
Cost: $5 entry fee
• 5- to 7-year-olds
• 8- to 11-year-olds
• 12- to 15-year-olds
In a pit full of mud, with children on one side and squealing pigs on the other, 14-year-old Mattie Jo Duzik can smile with the confidence of a winner. As last year’s Catch-a-Pig contest winner in her age group, Duzik is primed and ready for this year’s event at the Moffat County Fair.
“Some kids run straight to the pigs and some wait for the pigs to come to them,” Duzik said. “I just like to go out there and get it done.”
Getting “it” done is no easy task, with pigs covered in oil and three different age groups of children running amuck in a mud-filled arena.
“You have to kind of pick one and jump on it,” Duzik said. “Tackle it and keep a tight hold.”
Ten-year-old Wesley Counts can relate to Duzik’s advice. He entered the competition two years ago and said he can’t wait for this year’s event.
“It’s pretty wild,” Counts recalled. “There’s a bunch of kids sliding down and falling over.”
Moffat County Fair Board member Carol Haskins said this year’s event likely will hold additional chances for the young pig wranglers to take home a porker.
“We may be able to do two heats for each group of kids,” she said. “It depends on the number of pigs we get.”
The Moffat County Fair Board purchases the pigs from local ranchers after passing a health inspection. The pigs then go home with the winners for only the cost of a $5 entry fee and some mud-caked clothes.
The pigs range from 30 to 40 pounds, with smaller ones going to younger children competitors.
Moffat County Extension Administrative Supervisor Jackie Goodnow said several pigs are put in the 30- to 40-foot arena with each group of children.
“Whole families come out for this event,” she said. “It’s pretty entertaining.”