'Shear determination' to send local student to college

Hanna Runner, 17, preparing sheep for national competition

A local 4-Her is preparing her award-winning sheep for national competition later this month.

Hanna Runner, 17, took home the Grand Champion title for her sheep 'Lard' at this year's Illinois State Fair.

From the treadmill to the trimmers, it takes a lot to get market lambs ready for show.

Runner has been raising show sheep since she was nine-years-old.

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to hear more from Runner on how she got involved in showing sheep. The process begins in March when her family purchases lambs from Midwestern breeders.

From here the work begins, feeding lambs the proper diet. But she says it's not just about the proper food and water. It takes exercise and training.

Sheep are turned out on walkers every day to train them how to walk properly. Exercise doesn't end there. Treadmills especially designed for sheep are used to make sheep walk backwards to build up muscles in the back.

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to watch sheep walk on treadmills during KHQA this Morning.

Hanna and her sister also practice setting the sheep in position, readying them for competition.

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to watch Hanna Runner demonstrate grooming a sheep live on KHQA This Morning.

She and her sheep head to Kansas City for the American Royal later this month.

"I don't get nervous anymore," Runner said. "I am usually just zoned in on the judge while I'm in the ring."

It may seem like a full time gig, but Hanna pulls it off while juggling school, 4-H and two sports. She says all the hard work comes together when she hits the show ring.

"I don't go in thinking I'm going to win, I'm thinking I'm going to do the best I can," Runner said.

Hanna Runner is a Senior at West Prairie High School and is a member of the Blandinsville Blue Ribbons 4-H Club.

Raising these champion sheep through 4-H all these years will pay for her college education.