You spend your whole life as a rooster thinking about it: Winning the Ohio State Fair Blue Ribbon for Top Rooster. Cock of the Walk. King of the Midway.
Did you ever wonder about the contenders that fought all the way to The Show but were unable to take the crown back to their home towns and farms?
Here are 9 runners-up and their stories:
Scooter King almost won four years in a row. Depressed after losing for the fourth time, he retreated to a life of sitting on the corner stool of Darby’s Bar in Mount Orab, Ohio.
With a cocky walk that reminded some farmers of the rhythmic syncopation of drumming great Buddy Rich, he tried to win only one time, lost, and never went back. “He thinks he is too good for the others,” his owner said.
Long Tall Cabby
Long Tall Cabby used his great height to impress judges in an amazing 10 Ohio State Fairs. Unable to convert his strong appearances to a win, he ended his own life by jumping off the roof of Farmer Hogan’s barn near Canal Winchester, Ohio.
The first hipster rooster, Bearded Bard won county competitions and 4H Club runoffs for years. He placed well at the Ohio State Fair, but was disqualified by insisting on wearing straight-legged jeans at the finals.
Sam the Snob
Sam the Snob was a natural winner. The problem was he knew it. He loved to lord it over the other chickens. He was the victim of a brutal murder, and the killer was never found.
Big Blue Bell
Big Blue Bell was a clear-eyed, amiable lout who drank a lot and smoked way more than he should have. But crowds loved him. He never really came close to winning the Blue Ribbon, but always had the biggest group of fans on social media.
Comb Over Curly
Comb Over Curly took drastic measures as he realized he was getting older and still had not captured the top prize. Farm gossip magazines speculate he had some plastic surgery as well as work done on his comb, making it fuller and more colorful. Curly has always denied the allegations.
Get Up And Go Guy
Get Up and Go Guy was a high-energy rooster who thrilled crowds with his animated, comical style. He couldn’t control his own demons, however, ending his life late last year.
Slow Hand Slacker
Slow Hand Slacker never wanted to compete — for anything. He was forced into it by his owner. He missed practices, ate bad feed and stayed out late at night chasing chickens. Still, he did well with younger audiences, mostly female, and converted his fame on Snapchat and Vine into a movie career.