Mahoney-Sutherland wins Supreme Showmanship

Friday, July 30, 2021
Bree Mahoney-Sutherland celebrates being chosen the 2021 Putnam County 4-H Fair supreme showman, along with reserve champion Jayden Simpson and the 2021 Putnam County Fair Queen Court.

Regardless of what happened on Thursday night, it was Bree Mahoney-Sutherland’s final time in the Putnam County Fair show ring as a 4-H’er.

But, just for good measure, the 10-year member went out and won the whole thing, claiming the 2021 Supreme Showmanship trophy.

Representing the goat barn, Mahoney-Sutherland topped Reserve Supreme Showman Jayden Simpson of the beef barn and a field of five other competitors — Ethan Hamm of the swine barn, Brody Parent of sheep, Joe Kirkham of dairy, Sydney Boswell of horse and pony and Allison Skirvin of llama and alpaca.

Bree Mahoney-Sutherland came out on top of the seven-person field Thursday night, which included the first time the llama/alpaca project was represented in the round robin format.

Though Mahoney-Sutherland won the showmanship championship in both the goat and horse and pony barns, she chose to represent goats.

Having gone through the grueling day of showing seven different species of animals and having already heard Simpson announced as reserve champion, Mahoney-Sutherland described what was going through her mind just before her name was announced.

“Honestly, I was worried,” Mahoney-Sutherland said. “Obviously Ethan is an amazing showman as well, and everybody else. So I was definitely worried.”

Mahoney-Sutherland is no stranger to intense competitions. Not only was 2021 her third appearance in Supreme Showmanship — she’s won the showmanship competition in the goat barn the last three years and in horse and pony the last two — but she was also a state finalist in shot put for South Putnam this year and was part of the Eagle basketball program that won three sectional championships in four years.

Still, she remained philosophical about the competition and kept things in the proper perspective.

“It’s my 10th year — I’m done either way,” she said. “There was nothing for me to do this time but enjoy it because it is fun and it is a learning experience. I think oftentimes we forget that it’s not just a cut-throat competition.”

Having taken the two highest awards in the competition, Supreme Showmanship Runner-Up Jayden Simpson and Supreme Showman Bree Mahoney-Sutherland celebrate their honors Thursday evening.

Still, when her name was announced, it brought a lot of joy.

“That was probably one of the best moments of my life,” Mahoney-Sutherland said.

Asked to elaborate, Mahoney-Sutherland, always quick with a smile and a joke, said what was going through her mind.

“Honestly, I really need a shower because there are like five layers of sweat on me and I need a nap and I’m starving,” she said.

Having been named the 2021 Putnam County Fair Supreme Showman, Bree Mahoney-Sutherland gets a hug from mom Erin Mahoney.

Mahoney-Sutherland then turned more reflective, recalling her dad, Rick, who passed away in May 2018.

“Other than that, obviously I’ve been working for this all 10 years and it was something my dad always wanted me to do,” she said. “So, it was really emotional as well.

“I don’t even know how to explain when all your work pays off.”

Simpson, a ninth-year 4-H member, was pleased with his runner-up performance and hopes for a payoff similar to Mahoney-Sutherland’s next year.

“I am super excited for this tonight,” he said. “This is exactly what I wanted to achieve this year. I have one year left to make it back in this ring like I am tonight and can’t wait to hopefully be where Bree is standing this evening. I’m super excited for Bree.”

Thursday’s competition also made a little bit of history by adding the llama and alpaca project to the round robin. Not only did this bring an extra species into the mix, but it also brought another competitor in the form of Skirvin.

Mahoney-Sutherland said the addition of llamas was not too much of a surprise for her.

“My sister (Shea Mahoney-Sutherland) is on the fair board, so I found out pretty early,” Mahoney-Sutherland said. “I think (Llama/Alpaca Superintendent) Kate Skirvin especially did a great job of introducing us to them and making sure that she helped everyone. Gayle Baugh showed llamas, so she gave me some pointers and tips and a book to help me learn stuff. They were all really supportive. It was different but it was definitely an experience. It was a great time.”

Mahoney-Sutherland’s win also made a smaller piece of history by breaking North Putnam’s stranglehold on the Supreme Showmanship title. North Putnam students or graduates had won the competition for eight straight years dating back to Preston Porter’s 2013 victory. Emily Gilley, also of South Putnam, was the last winner from another school.

Any kind of school rivalries weren’t on Mahoney-Sutherland’s mind Thursday, though. Instead, she was grateful for those who make the fair and the 4-H program possible, thinking not only of her sister and late father, but also mother Erin Mahoney, brother-in-law Jonathan Addler (the goat barn superintendent) and many others.

“I just want to thank the 4-H volunteers,” Mahoney-Sutherland said. “You know how much work they put in behind the scenes. I’ve been raised with four of them at any given time. Everything these people do goes unnoticed. I don’t think they get appreciated enough and putting this on every year, they don’t understand how much they’re impacting our lives.”

The full field featured (above, from left) Sydney Boswell (horse and pony), Ethan Hamm (swine), Brody Parent (sheep), Bree Mahoney-Sutherland (goat), Joe Kirkham (dairy), Jayden Simpson (beef) and Allison Skirvin (llama/alpaca), all of whom await the announcement of the top two finishers.

Putnam County Supreme Showmanship winners

2021: Bree Mahoney-Sutherland, Goat
2020: Seth Ariens, Dairy
2019: Katie Fry, Beef
2018: Grace Fry, Sheep
2017: Brynne Shuee, Swine
2016: Jessica Hays, Goat
2015: Nolan Ensor, Swine
2014: Lauren Johnston, Sheep
2013: Preston Porter, Dairy
2012: Emily Gilley, Horse & Pony
2011: Logan Pell, Horse & Pony
2010: Garret Porter, Dairy
2009: Brock Jones, Sheep
2008: Kyle Alcorn, Beef
2007: Dakota Parent, Sheep
2006: Kalen Brattain, Swine
2005: Jordan Berry, Sheep
2004: Neal Knapp, Sheep
2003: Ashley Clifford, Beef
2002: Dustin Thornberg, Swine
2001: Rhonda Gottschalk, Beef
2000: Keri Jackson, Swine
1999: Tiffany Tippin, Beef
1998: Ryan Hendricks, Sheep
1997: Tammy Gottschalk, Swine
1996: Kyleen Jensen, Beef
1995: Paul Hodgen, Beef
1994: Sara Stanley, Beef
1993: Mike Jackson, Swine
1992: Robert Hodgen, Beef
1991: Jim Bowling, Swine
1990: Doug Parent, Beef
1989: Brent Branneman, Swine
1988: Jenny Merkel, Beef
1987: Jenney Jessup, Goat
1986: Jeff Stanley, Sheep
1985: Charles Poynter, Swine
1984: Tony Stanley, Beef
1983: Brian Williams, Beef
1982: Andy Beck, Beef
1981: Brad Davies, Swine
1980: Lisa Sutherlin, Horse & Pony
1979: Jeff Davies, Swine
1978: Jake Zaring, Beef
1977: Gary Williams, Beef
1976: Brad Cash, Dairy
1975: Jerry Torr, Beef
1974: Gordon Smith, Swine
1973: Phillip Fry, Swine
1972: Terry Tippin, Dairy
1971: David Bruner, Sheep
1970: Beverly Hurst, Sheep
1969: Steve Judy, Dairy
1968: Kent Brattain, Swine
1967: Ken Carrington, Beef
1966: Robert New, Sheep
1965: Ralph Fry, Dairy
1964: Keith Carrington, Beef
1963: Bill Judy, Dairy
1962: Noble New, Sheep
1961: Tommy Hendricks, Sheep
1960: Frank Hartman, Beef
1959: Ted Britton, Beef
1958: Neil Irwin, Swine
1957: Byron Gough, Beef
1956: Bowen Akers, Beef
1955: Charles Nicholson, Dairy
1954: Bernie Harris, Sheep
1953: Gordon Whitman, Beef
1952: Ken Torr, Beef

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