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Indiana hosts thousands of sheep, sheep lovers

All-American Junior Sheep Show
NATIONAL SHOW: More than 40 8-year-old exhibitors took part in this showmanship class at the All-American Junior Sheep Show in the Pop Weaver Youth Pavilion at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.
The 25th All-American Junior Sheep Show brought thousands of people and sheep to Indiana.

The All-American Junior Sheep Show celebrated its 25th anniversary this year by returning to Indiana. The first All-American Junior Show was held in Bloomington, Ind. The show then moved to the Johnson County Fairgrounds in Franklin for several years, until it outgrew the facility.

Next stop was Sedalia, Mo. Since then, the show has moved around the country to various locations, gaining in popularity as it went. Lynn and Kellie Kuhn, Rushville, Ind., were key to bringing the show back to Indiana this year.

“We really wanted to see the show come here since this was the 25th anniversary, and it started here,” Lynn says. He and his wife, Southdown breeders in Rush County, were Indiana representatives on the sponsoring committee for this year’s show.

According to organizers, a record number of sheep were registered for the show, with entries topping 3,200 head of all breeds. The unofficial report listed Hampshires as having the most entries, followed closely by Southdowns. Official exhibitor numbers topped 700. States besides Indiana with large numbers of exhibitors included Illinois, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Showmanship was held July 6, with breed shows following July 7-8. The event is geared toward youth, with special activities such as lamb camp, a parade of states, a skill-a-thon contest and a pizza party.

This is the first time the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis has hosted this national show. Sheep filled both the traditional sheep barn and the draft horse barn. All shows were held in the Pop Weaver Youth Pavilion. The show travels to Kansas next year and Michigan in 2020.

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