Owner of P.I.g. looking to win B.I.G. at fair

By: 
DEB HILL
News-Argus Managing Editor

Kolby Gobble spends a few minutes with her show pig, Magnum P.I.g. . Gobble, an FFA member, will show Magnum in two classes at the fair.
 

 

Kolby Gobble has high hopes for Magnum P.I.g. That’s pig, not private investigator, and Gobble has entered the porker in two classes at the fair: Market Hog and Senior Showmanship. She thinks this may be the pig that will take her to the top in both.

“I’ve been showing pigs for two years now,” Gobble said, “and Magnum is the best I’ve had.

“He’s going to work good and he’s going to look good,” she added, summing up how she thinks Magnum will perform in the show ring.

Gobble, 16, got started in pigs through the influence of her older sister, Kaycee, and Fergus High FFA advisor Jared Long. Both have been great mentors for her.

“Kaycee got a scholarship through FFA that paid all of her college tuition,” Kolby said. “She did really well with livestock judging in FFA, and it paid off.”

Long, it turns out, not only has been helping Kolby to learn the ins and outs of raising and showing  swine, but is also Magnum’s original owner.

“Magnum was born Jan. 3, and I got him March 19,” she recalled. “We previewed the pigs selling at the Long’s Livestock auction, and he was so cute.”

Kolby admits this may not be the best way to select a pig, but in this case it worked. The grey, black and white spotted crossbred pig is now over 290 pounds, the largest of three pigs Kolby is raising. According to Kolby, he’s also mild tempered, and lies down to have his stomach scratched.

“I walk him every night,” she said. “He looks really good, with good muscle in the back, a wide top and a nice butt.”

All of these attributes will be important in the Market Hog class.

In Senior Showmanship, the focus will be on Kolby herself, and how well she is showing her pig’s best traits to the judge.

“If the pig does well, then you look good, too,” she explained.

That’s why she has spent hours working with Magnum. Kolby said she is out with the pigs starting at 7 a.m. daily, cleaning their pen and washing and brushing them.

“If you start early and put in the work, it really pays off when you go in the ring,” she said.

For Magnum and Kolby, the show starts with check-in on Tuesday, followed by the official weigh-in at 5 p.m. that evening.

“We’re going to check in while it’s still cool,” she said, explaining that pigs don’t sweat so heat can be lethal. “We’ll have box fans on in the stall and if he gets too warm, I can spray him with water.”

Wednesday morning at 7 a.m., wearing her black and white show outfit, FFA jacket and scarf, Kolby will take Magnum into the ring and find out whether all her hard work was enough for a win in the Market Hog class. Thursday morning at 7 a.m. she and Magnum compete in the senior Swine Showmanship class.

Regardless of the outcome, Saturday marks the end of the partnership between Kolby and Magnum.

“He sells Saturday,” she said. “We’ll say our goodbyes then. It will be hard. I really like this pig.”

A purchase check helps a little, Kolby admitted.

“I’m trying to save up some money for college, but I’m a teenage girl so I like to go shopping, too,” she said.

This fall Kolby enters her senior year at Fergus High, and her last year in FFA. After that, she isn’t quite sure what she’ll be doing. She prefers the rural life, she said, adding there may well be pigs in her future.

 

 

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