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All the stink about hog wrestling is nothing but hogwashPosted Tuesday, July 10, 2007, at 6:37 AM
Well, let me be the first to thank John Beach and the Greene County 4-H Council members for helping to make the decision to bring hog wrestling to the Greene County Fair about six years ago.
Look around at the bleachers on Thursday night when the hog wrestling event will take center stage in the show arena.
The fans pack the place for a chance to view what has turned out to be one of the best-attended events at the fair.
It's good wholesome, down-home fun and entertainment.
For the folks from this rural community, hog wrestling is something they look forward to, and no it's nothing like the loud-mouthed, muscle-popping version of professional wrestling that can be viewed every day on cable television.
No one gets hurt or mistreated -- not even the market pigs who get a night to wallow around in a muddy pit of water and muck with a bunch of human who pay $25 bucks a team for a chance to particpate in this extravaganza.
It seems our illustrious Greene County Extension Service Educator John Beach -- a veteran of heading up more than 30 fairs, has gotten way more newspaper ink in recent days in a Bloomington-based publication than he would like or deserve.
A story in Sunday's newspaper questioned the "humanity" of conducting a yearly hog wrestling event at the county fair in Greene and other area counties.
That's about as pure and simple as I can put it in terms that folks here in Greene County will understand.
The hog wrestling event that will be staged at 8 p.m. on Thursday night is far from being inhumane, terroristic, psycopathic or cruel to the animals or the human contestants who climb into the pit filled with muddy water to compete in the annual event.
The object of the event is simple.
Four--person teams jump into a small mud and water filled pit. A pig, ranging in size from about 60 pounds to 200 pounds is released. The object is to grab up the pig and place it-- without slamming it -- into a car tire that is placed on top of a 55-gallon barrel, all within 60 seconds. The fastest team wins.
Officials are close by and anyone who slams one of the pigs on top of the barrel is disqualified.
A wash off with a cool water hose and everybody is back to normal...even the pigs.
The story in Sunday's newspaepr generated more than 60 comments --- many from folks who have never witnessed an actual county fair hog wrestling event themselves.
The public comments raised issues like cruelty to animals, terroristic behavior, animal extortion for human entertainment, non-Christian morals and mental pyschopathic behavior.
One person even verbally slammed our state's neighbors to the south and wondered if hog wrestling was a Kentucky sport and part of the Kentucky Olympics.
The facts are -- this is an entertainment event that happens to involve small-sized market hogs that will eventually end up on our tables as pork chops, bacon, sausage, ribs, cutlets, tenderloins, burgers, steaks and the like.
That is what market hogs do. They are raised to go to market to be consumed.
Those who are hollering the loudest about being cruel to animals or capilizing financially at the expense of animals...do they feel the same way about horse racing, rodeos, other equestrian events, dog or cat shows?
What's next, will some question the ethics of conducting a 4-H livestock auction at the fair because these poor farm animals will be butcherd hours after leaving the auction ring?
The animal rights folks yelled real loud a couple years ago and prompted the local fair to stop it's very popular rabbit scramble event. It also was good clean fun and the kids who participated got to keep the bunny that they caught.
We sure hope the hog wrestling event doesn't meet the same demise.
Incidently, the Bloomngton newspaper forget to mention in their story that a team of their staff members will join a team from this newspaper in the hog wresting pit on Thursday night.
And, there is no truth to the rumor that fair officals are considering adding a new entertainment event at next year's fair -- the turtle toss.
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