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12-year-old Kaci Bulkley and her ewe Destiny bring home several ribbons Thursday at the Campbell County Fair.

Fulfilling her Destiny

The first thing that Destiny gets now that she’s won grand champ for her Hampshire breed is a big meal of hay. Prior to her debut at the Campbell County Fair Thursday morning, Destiny was eating a lot leaner as the hay tended to chunk out her belly, her handler 12-year-old Kaci Bulkley said.

Bulkley and Destiny just returned from their second time in the ring where Bulkley earned yet another ribbon for first place in her age and breed as well as grand champion for overall breed. For her part, Destiny had just been washed and fluffed and on top of her polished appearance, she’d always performed excellently with complete deference to her handler as Bulkley held her lunge for the judges with Destiny’s head cradled between her hands.

This is a big moment for the teen, who despite her age, is well versed in animal showmanship and has been competing for the past five years. Unlike her other award-winning showmanship ribbons for sheep and in several other animal classes, Bulkey actually raised Destiny from her own stock as part of this year’s new category for Born and Raised livestock. Destiny is the offspring of a former grand champion Hampshire ewe, so Bulkley was pretty confident in Destiny’s abilities to bring home ribbons.

Raising her own ewe from birth also had other advantages, Bulkley said, including having such an early start in working with her.

“It feels good to win,” Bulkley said with a toothy grin.

Destiny gave a hearty “baaa” either as a victory shout or in response to the many ewes milling around her as other 4-H and FFA handlers get ready to take the ring in their respective age and breeds.

Outside of the arena in East Pavilion, 9-year-old McKenna Chavez is getting her six-month old market sheep ready for competition. With Boss Baby’s head held still on the wood post, Chavez brushes his feet as he snorts and lifts his leg as if not entirely happy to have his legs groomed.

McKenna Chavez and Boss Baby get ready to take the ring at the sheep competition Thursday morning in the East Pavilion.
McKenna Chavez and Boss Baby get ready to take the ring at the sheep competition Thursday morning in the East Pavilion.


He, too, has been recently washed and fluffed as he sniffed Chavez’s hair as she tended to his grooming while talking quietly to him as her mother and grandmother watch her do her thing.

This is her first year competing in the sheep competition, and despite her greenness, she’s confident that she and Boss Baby are going to do well. They’ve been working together for months and she’s got her halter lead and knee bend down, she said. For his part, Boss Baby has bulked up to a hefty 125 pounds, definitely outweighing Chavez by a good 50 or so pounds.

“We’re ready,” she said as she gave Boss Baby a final brushing and readied herself to take the ring.