At the Wyoming State Fair’s Pig’ N Mud wrestling, teams came from around the state to get down and dirty. Some dove into the muck with experience in the ring; others dipped their toes into it for the first time - though by the end of their go, everyone was plastered in goo.
During the opening calcutta, which brought in just under $4,000 for all the teams combined, the different teams had an opportunity to meet each other and chat. As members of The Pig Pen Patriots, four oil co-workers and friends who couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try out pig wrestling, had a few drinks first before they learned what they were in for.
Leslie Kinner of the Piggy Slashers told them a story of wrestlers at a county fair getting the pig in the barrel in just four seconds. The story far from struck fear in the Pig Pen Patriots, who all snuck off before their team was auctioned at the calcutta for another round of drinks.
After each team went through the gauntlet, they were offered a chance to clean off from the Douglas Volunteer Fire Department’s hoses. The night started with the juniors competition where seven teams faced off with the top three teams taking home prize money.
The first team to make their way into the ring was Snortin’ & Porkin’, a group of Douglas boys who went the minute without getting the pig to touch sawdust. They had the pig pinned at one point, with all their hands on him, but couldn’t muster the strength to lift it into the barrel.
Only four of the juniors teams were able to get catch the pig at all and record a time. The best time went to one of the oldest teams in the juniors division, the quartet of Lucans Hans, Peyton Hans, Yessenia Teague and Olivia Smith from Casper. The Redneck Rebels were able to wrangle the slippery swine in 31.04 seconds.
Second place went to the Warthogs, four boys from the Torrington Wrestling Club, who got the swine pinned in just 39.73 seconds.
The winners of the costume contest at the end came out of the juniors, Douglas’s own Soccer Squealers. The team of Sawyer Wilson, Addison Haughty, Madison and McKenzie Engle marched into the Grandstand Arena in matching bright pink with customized swim caps, each one colored into a soccer ball. The other teams to actually get a hold of the pig and record a finishing time used similar puns for team names.
The Baconators, sans-Wendy’s sponsorship, finished in 32.31 seconds, while Don’t Go Bacon My Heart barely finished under the buzzer at 55.37 seconds. The boys for Don’t Go Bacon My Heart chose to eschew the fire hoses entirely, opting for a dip in the North Platte River to wash themselves clean.
When the Pig Pen Patriots finally got their turn in the slop, they found out it was more difficult than they thought. They couldn’t get the pig to touch sawdust. Dripping from head to toe with mud covering up clothes made specially for working in an oil field, the guys sauntered back to the fire department without a care in the world.
They achieved their goal, they got together as a group and had a good time. Coming after them, and also failing to get through the muck and record a time, was Los Porkos, the Wheatland team that won Platte County’s Pig N Mud wrestling three out of the last four years.
The quartet wore matching T-shirts with “Impact” scrawled across the front. Impact is the church where wrestler Jeremy Haroldson is a pastor. Despite their success in fairs past, there was never a point where the four of them all got their hands on the pig at the same time.
“We’ve put a lot of pigs in barrels, but not that one,” he said.
Joining Haroldson on the team was Tylor Weiss, the girls swim coach at Douglas High School.
The only mens team to actually complete the task at hand went upfront with their team name — the Returning State Champions. It only took 16.58 seconds for them to nab the swine and claim the crown again.
An inverse of the men, two of the three women’s teams got their hands on the swine in time, with the win going to Laramie’s Piggy Slashers. They didn’t get the job done in four seconds like they told the Pig Pen Patriots was possible, but 18.05 was good enough to take home the championship trophies, each one with a small golden pig on top.