The State Fair Board has again pulled the blue ribbon away from the Grand Champion Steer from the 2002 Iowa State Fair. The fair board had originally stripped the championship from the steer owned by Jenna Sievers known as “Pickles” after a discrepancy in the information used to identify the animal. An administrative law judge had reversed the decision of the fair board, but fair C-E-O Gary Slater says the board used its right to look over the information and make a new ruling. He says they looked at the record in the hearing and decided that the points the law judge emphasized were not the most important points of the case — specifically the nose print. The nose print was the original piece of evidence that raised doubt about the animal’s identity. He says the nose print didn’t match from the December weigh in to the August fair date. He says there really wasn’t evidence presented by the defendant as to why the print shouldn’t match. The board also found there was no controversy surrounding the taking of the nose print at the fair. The ruling Friday ends the action by the fair board.He says it’s the final ruling in terms of administrative law, but either side could appeal in district court. Slater says the fair board took immediate action to remedy the 2002 situation for the 2003 fair. He says they required that all lambs, beef cattle and swine must have nose prints and hair samples submitted for D-N-A testing so the situation does not come up again. The 16-thousand dollars garnered from the sale of Pickles is being held in escrow until the issue is finally decided.
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