The 5 Principles of Swine Showmanship

Aug 30, 2023

The moment you step up to the ring for showmanship the judge has their eye on the class, but do you know what they're looking for? 

Here are the five principles every hog judge uses to sort the top showman from the rest of the class.  

1. Eye Contact - Maintaining good eye contact with the judge shows you are confident in your abilities and comfortable navigating the show ring with your animal.

2. Distance - Showing your pig at the right distance from the judge ensures your pig is always visible. As the judge moves throughout the ring, your ability to keep your pig at the right distance demonstrates how much work you've done at home.

3. Ham Sandwich -  Always keep your pig between you and the judge. The pig is the ham, you and the judge are the bread. This gives the judge an unobstructed view of your pig at all times.

4. Pace & Position - Pace is the speed at which you move around the ring. Position is where you are located in relation to your pig to help manage pace and maintain control of the drive.

5. Intensity - Intensity is your demeanor in the show ring, essentially your showmanship style. No matter your style, you and your pig should flow as one team, remaining calm, cool, and collected under pressure.

Want to know more about these principles and get tons of showmanship tips? Check out  Winning at Swine Showmanship with Aimee Inskeep to get five hours of instruction from one of the nation's top showmanship judges! offers video-based online courses in showing livestock, taught by the industry’s most talented breeders and feeders. We're here to help you win - in the show ring and beyond. 

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