By Tom Collins
TORONTO — Oxford County’s Madison Dyment did not want to miss the Royal Winter Fair or her mid-term exams. So she flew across the Canada-U.S. border four times to do both.
It was a crazy Royal week for 20-year-old Dyment, of Burgessville in Oxford County, who is in her third year in agricultural communications at the University of Kentucky. She flew home on Friday, Nov. 2, got ready to show over the weekend and competed at the Royal in Toronto on Monday, winning grand champion showperson in 4-H dairy. The next day, she took a flight back to Lexington, Kentucky, to write two mid-term exams. Her friends bought a cake and threw her a party to celebrate the Royal win.
“I was so caught up in the Royal that I forgot about my exams until the day before,” she said. “I was studying as we were eating the cake. It was definitely a low-key kind of party.”
She wrote exams on Thursday and Friday, and then flew back to Toronto on Friday night so she could participate in the Royal’s parade of champions on Saturday before flying back to Kentucky on Sunday.
Dyment has had a series of big wins. She was named top senior showperson at the World Dairy Expo at Madison, Wisconsin, in October. She has been named top intermediate champion showperson twice at the World Dairy Expo and also grand champion at the EastGen show in Stratford.
The trick to success, she said, is not to worry about anyone else in the ring.
“It’s really important not to think about other competitors and other extenuating circumstances that might happen,” she said. “I can’t control what the judge will think, I can’t control what other competitors will do, I can barely control what my calf will decide to do. It’s getting into that headspace that the only thing you can control is yourself.”
The Royal has a rule that you can only win grand showperson once, so Dyment won’t be able to compete next year. In fact, she’s not sure if she can compete in any 4-H shows, as she may be staying in Kentucky next summer in a job placement. She does plan to help her parents — Jamie and Angela Howard of Howard-View Holsteins — at open shows.