PALMETTO -- When Maddie Starowesky was presented with the Best in Show blue ribbon, the Manatee High School senior said she was kind of surprised.
Starowesky, who showed her Australian Cattle Dog Ily, won the top honor for showmanship at Monday's Dog Show at the 2016 Manatee County Fair.
"It means a lot because this is my last year in 4-H," Starowesky said. "It is kind of a great feeling to be able to show to my mom. It shows I tried. It is really nice."
Starowesky was one of 12 Manatee County residents between the ages of 8 and 18 who participated in Monday's Dog Show, which has been organized by the K-9 Kids 4-H Club of Manatee County for more than 15 years.
Never miss a local story.
The show is divided into three categories -- showmanship, obedience and agility -- and the participants are awarded in several categories including Best of Show.
This is the second year the show was held on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Monica Hendrickson, the show's co-organization leader, said the show went really well on MLK Day last year.
"It is very laid back," she said. "We have the whole arena. We have a bigger space."
The participants train all year for the show and have weekly meetings and trainings, Hendrickson said.
"I like to see the bond they create with the dog and the team that emerges as a result of that bond," she said.
Samantha Malcolm, a sixth grader at The Out-of-Door Academy, came in first place in the intermediate division for showmanship. Malcolm showed her dog, Expo, an Australian Shepherd.
"It was good but it takes a lot of practice," she said.
Parrish resident Casey Jimenez watched Monday's show with his wife and two young children. As the owner of two dogs themselves, Jimenez said they like dogs.
"I want to show the kids what dogs are capable of when they are trained," he said.
Claire Aronson, Manatee County reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7024. Follow her on Twitter@Claire_Aronson.