They looked to me like four gun slingers ready to draw at the first sign of movement.  It was totally contrary to the way things had been done before and it was highly effective.

The four gunslingers who later revealed themselves as Lane Harmon, Jordan Oraw, Justin Ratzburg and Jake Fritz told KSEN in a post-match interview that they had conferred with a professional who has won the event four times in kalispell.    Of course it wasn't a secret by this time as the entire crowd at the 4-county Marias Fair Thursday night had seen and thoroughly enjoyed their approach to the unsuspecting hog, who in most other cases had been able to elude, outrun or squirm away from its' attackers.

Justin Ratzburg explained the "slow approach," grab the sow underneath the flanks and then everyone picks it up and puts it rear first into the barrel.  The four team members accomplished that in an impressive 9.9 seconds.  Jordan Oraw said it was the most exhilarating feeling he's had since his last football game at CJI.

In a calcutta auction, Jim Fritz rightly put his money down on the four strong teenagers and paid the highest amount of any bidder at 700-dollars.  The money raised in the calcutta was used to pay out a thousand dollars to the winner and 5-hundred dollars to second place.  The remainder, which is well over a thousand dollars will be used to benefit the 4-H pig barn.

Jordan Stoltz who is a veteran 4-H pig producer came up with the idea last year and approaced the Fair board with bringing the event to Shelby.   Jordan told KSEN in an interview that she would like to see some kind of improvement in the pig barn that would allow a more orderly run by the pigs from the barn to the show floor.    She also told us she "did not expect the huge crowd of spectators," that was on hand at the fair, nor the number of teams that entered.   Thirty-five in all.

Other winning teams included;  The PeeWee Tough guys;  Shane Barcus, Chantz Connelly, Nevak Riphenburg & Kaitlin Clifton.   The Intermediate class winners were:  Austin Stoltz, Owen Gustafson, Zachary Stoltz and Matt Connelly.   The Jr. winners were; Dell Harmon, Braxton Hasner, Kamron Ratzburg & Mike Henke.

It looks like Marias Fair Pig Wrestling is here to stay.