Twelve-year-old Henslie Hohertz of Early didn’t expect the words she heard from market swine judge Brice Mund Thursday afternoon 

Mund, who had just announced his pick of Henslie as winner of the market shine junior showmanship award, had a job for Henslie: He named her associate judge and asked her to help him judge the senior showmanship competition.

Henslie was surprised and excited, but remained calm, poised and confident. Without a hint of uncertainty, the Early Middle School seventh-grader conferred with Mund, who is from the College Station area, and then began to watch the contestants in the senior division as they worked their animals.

She held a microphone and spoke to spectators and exhibitors, and announced that her choice of a winner would be obvious by the swine whose back she slapped.

Blaze Cozart’s pig got the slap, and Blaze got the buckle and cash prize.

“It was fun,” Henslie said. “I was telling (the judge) what I liked.”

Henslie is in her fifth year of youth fair participation, and she has garnered other awards and recognition including being named junior miss at last year’s youth fair.

Henslie has two younger sisters — Hutsyn, 9, and Haskel, 3. The girls are the daughters of Harlan and Lori Hohertz, who own Early Blooms and Things.

Henslie said she wants to thank her Early ISD ag teachers, Ben and Misti Cozart, as well as her parents for their support.