Jessica Sawyer, Bassett, NE, captured the coveted title of Top Showman during the 34th National Junior Angus Showmanship Contest, held in Des Moines, IA.

A total of 47 contestants, from 28 states, competed for top honors during the contest, held in conjunction with the 2000 National Junior Angus Show.

In addition to the title of Top Showman, Sawyer received the traditional $350, from the Hamilton James Memorial Fund, and a silver Revere bowl, from the American Angus Auxiliary. This year, two new prizes were added to the list of awards given annually to the champion showman. Sawyer's Revere bowl was engraved and presented as the Dean Hurlbut Award, in honor of past American Angus Association director of activities. The Jake White family presented Sawyer with a custom-designed trophy buckle, in his honor.

Another Nebraska junior, Kyle Hain, Seward, was the second place showman. He was awarded $250. Jennifer Beck, Louisburg, NC, received $175 for her third place position.

Brittney Burns, Kickapoo, IL, took fourth place and received $125. Ryan Sweeney, Mason, MI, won $100 for his fifth place finish.

The cash prizes awarded to the top five showmen winners are provided on behalf of the Hamilton James Memorial Fund, established in memory of Angus enthusiast and auctioneer Ham James. The American Angus Auxiliary presented each of the top five finalists with a silver Revere bowl.

The contestants are evaluated on their skill in handling the animal, their ability to follow instructions, use of equipment, courtesy and sportsmanship, and general appearance. The contestants did not show their own animals, but drew for animals owned by other exhibitors, at the show.

The judges for the event were Tom Wells, Hamilton, TX; Kay Hartman, Tecumseh, NE; and Dennis Eastin, Gretna, VA.

The contestants competed in four preliminary rounds before 15 finalists were named. The 15 finalists competed in the final round for the top honors.

Other contestants who rounded out the top 15 were George Richburg, Auburn, AL; Lee Ann Mc Gee, Lavaca, AR; Angie Sinclair, Fort Collins, CO; Angela Finnestad, Belvidere, IL; Kyle Gillooly, Washington, IN; Jeff Covell, Frederick, MD; Heath Johnson, Tupelo, MS; Lance Thompson, Russellville, MO; Mike Hafner, Orlando, OK; and Becky Stuckey, Southmayd, TX.

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