FRYEBURG — They pull. They tug. They grunt.

And that’s just the trainers of the dairy-show cows who parade around the ring before trying to line the cattle up like show horses for the judge.

“That’s a lovely box rump,” said the judge as he looked over the backsides of six dairy cows during the milking and dry shorthorn cows dairy show at the Fryeburg Fair on Wednesday morning.

Thousands of people from across the country showed up for the fourth day of the eight-day fair that runs through Sunday.

“They’re looking for condition,” said Trudy Johnson of Sandy River Farms in Farmington moments after she came out of the show ring with “Lilly.” Judges look at the cow’s height, weight and other factors, she said.

Although Lilly didn’t win a premium during that show, there were two more left, Johnson said.

She and her family go to half a dozen or so fairs each summer with their dairy cows, hoping to win the top premium with some of the 170 cows, half of them milkers, that she and her family have on their farm. Her last win brought her $400 to $500 and a thermometer that she hung on the show barn at the Fryeburg Fair. It read 85 degrees in the sun early Wednesday morning.

At 42, she has been coming to the fair since she was a day old. Her mother, Brenda York, who is 76 “or so” has been coming all of her life.

They come because they love competing as a family.

Ten-year-old Madison Hodgdon of Buckfield, a student at Hartford-Sumner Elementary School, came to the fair with her brother, Hunter, to show cows. Her 9-week-old calves had to weigh in at least 500 pounds to be shown, but when they got to the fair the calves were underweight. Her brother’s 6-month-old calves weighed in above the required weight and would be able to show, she said.

It was her first time at the fair and she intends to be back next year with some of the six steers at the family’s Hodgdon Farm.

Lilly Crawford, 16, of Corinth got a lot of questions about her big steer, Anderson, named after her favorite singer, Keith Anderson.

She showed the steer in the shorthorn beef show and came in “dead last” each time, but that didn’t stop her from enjoying the attention the white steer garnered as she walked him around.

She said she would sell the steer at the Fryeburg Fair market later in the week. The asking price? $1,800. “That’s my set price,” she said with a grin.

The fair continues Thursday with oxen, draft horse, sheep and ram, and pony shows, harness racing, flower shows and horse pulling, among other events.

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