Speeding swine, costumed creatures, fast milkers, faster eaters and teen-age beauties competed for cookies, trophies, indigestion and a throne Sunday at the Howard County Fair.
In the first competition of the day, Bobby Johnson made a clean sweep in the pie-eating contestfor 9- to 15-year-olds. Bobby, 13, attributed his win to being the only boy in a family of six girls.
"The girls talk, and I eat," said the Clarksville resident. As tothe flavor of pie he so deftly consumed at lightning speed with his hands tied behind his back, "all I know is it was purple and lumpy."
Last year's notable victory for County Executive Charles I. Ecker was, of course, his overwhelming win in the fair's cow-milking contest.
Ecker returned this year to defend his title on a rather pale cow named Budget Deficit. He faced formidable competition against Police Chief Jim Robey on 911, outgoing farm queen Dawn Knill on Queen, and WMAR-TV reporter Jack Dawson on Morning Sun.
The meet got off to a slow start for Ecker, who found it difficult to get a handle on his newly acquired Budget. But he managed to milk her for everything he could get, obtaining one pint and 10 ounces. With a pewter creamer trophy in hand, he attributed his fresh victory to a "tough train." Dawson tried to scoop Ecker for the lead as the amply endowed Sun leaked amply. But judges reported a pathetic two-fifths of a pint for Dawson, who offered no comment on the loss or the leaks.
The farm queen on the dairy Queen lost royally, churning out a mere 9 ounces. Robey admitted he needed some "serious strategy" after coming across with only three-fifths of a pint. But after intense questioning he confessed, "I was smart and wasn't going to beat my boss."
Pork Chop Downs returned for its third straight year to the fair. Featuring such petite porcine pacers and racers as David Litterman, Albert Einswine and Arnold Swarzenhogger, the hams hammed it up for adoring crowds and prizes of vanilla cookies.
In the day's opening race, Tammy Swinette hogged a clear win in the first. Miss Piggy Lee, a Yorkshire, won by a snout in the second, while Little Grunt, an Asian potbelly, won almost by default in the third as rivals ran the wrong way or just didn't run at all. Cole Porker, your average house pig, was a shoo-inin the 1-foot-high hurdle jump, where the racing was fast and furious.
The Pretty Animal Contest featured 11 creatures promenading grandly on a dirt-paved circular runway.
Dressed in matching, classicblack leotards and shocking pink tutus, Cortney Hill-Dukehart and her pygmy goat stood out in the latest fall fashions for kids.
Six-week old Buster was the pooch about town, sporting a screaming red bowtie and understated black derby. Elizabeth Dunn, 7, in straw hat andcarrying a butterfly net, was accompanied by her dog in gossamer wings.
But fashion mavens agreed that the prettiest costume belonged to "My Pretty Pony in Pink," a white horse outfitted in equestrian pink -- pink saddle, bit and ribbons. Rider Marielle Proia, 9, wore a pink ballet outfit and riding helmet.
Best costume went to "Midnight," a white horse in ivory-colored bridal gown, accompanied by ring bearer Todd Herman, 4, and flower girl Erin Herman, 8.
Funniest costume went to "Farmer Brad" Dugen and his goat, Dottie. Brad, 5, strutted in his "you can wear them anywhere" denim coveralls and straw hat, while Dot, who refused to go anywhere, was dressed in denim jeans, a red and white checkered shirt and golden yarn tresses.
In the farm queen competition, Dawn Knill, 17, of Woodbine, ended her reign asshe handed over her tiara to Karen Spicer, 19, of Mount Airy.
Thefarm queen contest drew four teen-age contestants from across the county. In their opening address and answers to questions picked out ofa milking pail, the women, dressed in brightly colored gowns, offered their assessments of the farming industry.
Spicer, who entered last year's competition and lost to Knill, hopes that as queen she will be able to spread the importance about agriculture to the urban community.