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Barnyard competition highlights Family Night

August 03, 2003|by TAMELA BAKER

tammyb@herald-mail.com

Plastic boots, an egg in a plastic spoon, a tunnel made of hay bales and two-by-fours - the international Olympics were never quite like this.

Contestants in Saturday's Barnyard Olympics at the Washington County Ag Expo had to dress, balance, crawl and waddle their way to victory as they completed an obstacle course that also included melons and balloons.

The event kicked off the expo's Family Night events, which were moved from the open track to the main show ring, protected by a tarp, because of a threat of rain. It drew several teams, each identified by a string of their first names - as in "Kevin, Jason, Jason and Joe," the winners of the first leg of the relay.

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"Farmers have to do many things," contestants were told. To drive the point home, each contestant in the four-member relay teams had to dress in a flannel shirt, overalls, straw hat and plastic boots, balance an egg in a plastic spoon as they walked around a "fence post," crawl through the wood-and-stubble tunnel, run back, undress and tag the next runner.

As if that wasn't enough, contestants had to toss a melon until each one had caught it at least once.

Even then they weren't finished; the entire team had to get one balloon back to the starting line - by carrying it between their legs. No hands permitted.

The first two teams didn't get very far before they ran into trouble - just getting those overalls and boots on over their regular clothes proved a challenge.

"I'm glad it doesn't take real farmers this long to get dressed in the morning," the announcer teased. "The cows would never get milked."

Spectators cheered as the competitors struggled through the course. A few crushed melons and broken balloons later, Kevin, Jason, Jason and Joe (Kevin and Jason Barkdoll, Jason Hose and Joe Miller) emerged ahead of their competitors with a time of 6 minutes and 13 seconds.

And the hardest part of the race?

"The instructions," Kevin said.

Other Family Night events included a tug-of-war, an animal calling contest, an ice cream eating contest and the promise of seeing Washington County Commissioners' President Greg Snook milking a goat.

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