Racers squeal to the finish line at the State Fair


Written by Muleskinner Staff

For the Muleskinner
(SEDALIA, Mo., digitalBURG) — It was over in less than 15 seconds, but Bill Spamball won by the hair on his chinny chin chin.
Cheered on by a roaring crowd comprised of fairgoers of all ages, Bill Spamball raced three other blue-collar pigs: Jeff Hogsworthy, Ham Salad and Larry the Bacon Guy. The prize? A single pig newton.
Hedrick’s Racing Pigs Show was comprised of two other pig races with four pigs each race at the 12:30 p.m. show Monday, Aug. 15. The races only last about 10 to 20 seconds, but the Pig Lady said the short time is all part of the excitement around the Missouri State Fair’s nearly 25-year-old tradition.
“The first race happens to be our athletes race, and the four athletes in this race are world renowned,” the Pig Lady shouted to a crowd of around 200 fairgoers across the short, oval track. “They’ve been around for quite some time, some more mature than others, some have been racing on other kinds of tracks or doing other kinds of things, but I want to tell you that they are all fabulous and they’re all here to put on a good pig race here at the Missouri State Fair.”
Mario Ham Dretti won the first race against Jean Claude Van Hamm, El Puerco Swifto and Lance Hamstring. Lindsay Loham won the second against Hamma Montana, Kim Kardashiham and Miss Piggy.

Lauren Jimerson, a 5-year-old fairgoer from Blue Springs, Missouri, said she rooted for Lindsay Loham during the second pig race.
“I liked it,” Jimerson said. “At least my pig won the second race.”
Another family, the Gerbers from Jefferson City, Missouri, came out to the pig races as well. Siblings Sam, 5, and Hannah, 9, said they liked the pig races and want to come back and see them again.
Brother Elroy the Pig Whisperer rattles the gates to get the pigs stirred up before each race and places the pig newton at the end of the oval track. The Pig Lady also riles up the crowd because, as she put it, “the louder you scream, the faster they run.”
Her real name is Marcie Campbell, but she and her husband Rick – “Brother Elroy” – said they keep up their stage names as part of the fun. Rick trains the pigs to run around the track to reach the pig newton prize at the finish line. The couple said they’ve been putting on pig races for nearly 35 years, with most of those years working for Hedrick’s Racing Pig Show.
The Pig Lady and Brother Elroy host pig races five times a day for all 11 days of the fair under a red and white tent near the Coliseum. Although the couple is nearing retirement, Marcie and Rick said they still enjoy the pig races after years of putting on the shows at the fair.
“It is probably the most fabulous family entertainment,” Marcie said. “Lots of fun, short, fast, furious. Everybody loves it, doesn’t matter whether they’re babies or old. We try to make it so that everybody laughs hard and wants to keep coming back.”