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Jackson County show pig dies before judging

By Jennifer Lee Preyss
Oct. 10, 2012 at 5:10 a.m.
Updated Oct. 11, 2012 at 5:11 a.m.

Madison Hudson, 9, sits in the pen with her pig, Lexie, "The Diva," a few days before the Jackson County Youth Fair began at the Brackenridge Main Event Center. Madison's pig weighed in at 271 pounds Wednesday morning, but Lexie died a few hours later when she reared up inside the pen and broke her back.

IF YOU GO:

• WHAT: Jackson County Youth Fair

• WHEN: Through Saturday

• WHERE: Brackenridge Main Even Center, 891 Brackenridge Parkway, Edna

• MORE INFO: For detailed schedule of judging and fair admission prices, visit jcyf.org

EDNA - When Madison Hudson woke up Wednesday morning, she was excited to compete at the Jackson County Youth Fair.

It was Madison's first livestock event and she was convinced her hog, Lexie "The Diva," would secure a grand champion win during Wednesday night's judging.

But the 9-year-old's pig didn't make it to judging.

Shortly after The Diva weighed in at 271 pounds - after she'd been released from the scale and ushered back inside her pen at the Brackenridge Main Event Center - Madison learned her beloved Diva died from injuries related to an accident inside the pen.

"It all happened so fast," said Madison's mother, Jackie Hudson, of Ganado. "Lexie jumped up in the pen and hit her head on a pole, and then she fell back and started convulsing."

Hudson said she and Madison, and her 12-year-old son, Blake Hudson, could hear Lexie screaming from across the arena, but they weren't allowed access to where the swine were confined.

"Lexie has always been a diva, that's why we called her Lexie "The Diva," Hudson said, wiping away tears falling down her cheeks. "She probably wanted food or water ... She's a pig. They will get aggressive when they're hungry."

Lexie died in her pen shortly after the convulsions, with unknown injuries. About an hour later, she was taken to the butcher's block.

Hudson, who remained emotional hours after the incident, said the pig had become a member of the family, or like any other pet the family loved.

"You get so close to them, they're just like pets because you have them for so long," Hudson said. "And now it just feels like lot of wasted time."

But Madison enjoyed the process of taking care of Lexie the past few months and said it has been a welcomed responsibility in her life since they bought the pig in May.

"When I first saw her, I thought she was pretty," Madison said. "She was happy and she liked playing. She would always eat when I was there and she would put her nose on me and scooch me a little."

Madison made nightly visits to Lexie's pen to feed and walk her, and made sure the pig was putting on healthy weight.

"I just wanted to raise a pig. I thought it would be fun. And I thought she'd turn out for me at the show," Madison said. "I felt like I was doing something fun, something for my future."

Madison's brother Blake, who is also showing swine at the fair, said when his pig, Charlotte, goes to auction on Saturday, he plans to split the money with his sister.

"Lexie was the better pig," Blake said. "But it's going to be OK. I told my sister she can help me with my pig, and she can share my money if she wants some. Hopefully, Charlotte will help make up for this."

Madison said even though she's disappointed that she wasn't able to complete the show, she plans to come back next year with a pig that will take her all the way to the grand champion circle.

"I hope I have a good pig next year that does a good job for me," she said. "I want to win next year."

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