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CLERMONT - Everybody likes to feel like royalty on their birthday. Shelby Lynn Daugherty really did get to wear a crown on her 20th birthday on Monday as she was crowned the 2011 Miss Bullitt County Fair.
Competing against 10 other young women on the first night of the Fair, Daugherty completed her rise up the pageant hierarchy on her fourth try. She was the first runner-up a year ago and was the second runner-up in 2009.
“I’ve been moving up every year so that has been pretty good,” the daughter of Kevin and Tara Daugherty said during a break from standing in front of cameras.
Monday night’s victory was six months in the making. That was when Daugherty began preparing for the annual summer event.
“I was practicing quite a lot,” The 5-foot, 100-pound Daugherty said after being crowned by 2010 winner Dana Winchell. “I was working on it a couple of hours a day.”
The coaching came from her mother as well as a helping hand from Shaley Dunn.
“We just worked on my walk and with the interview,” Daugherty said. “The interview was the toughest part. You have to have beauty and brains.”
The interview before the three judges was conducted an hour before the event took to the stage in the pavilion. Once in front of the public, the contestants walked the runway in leisure wear before changing into swim wear. Following another intermission, the women presented themselves in formal wear.
In the break while the judges’ scores were being tallied, Daugherty felt that her effort had gone well.
“I thought I was in good shape,” the recalled. “I started out with a good interview. I had a good walk in the swim wear. My evening gown, which I would not have picked out, but mom picked out, was a good choice.”
Daugherty, who was sponsored by KWD Restorations, just completed her second year at Elizabethtown Community College where she is majoring in Special Education and has a 3.5 grade point average. At school, she is a part of the We the Women Club, a support group for the empowerment of women.
“It helps in difficult times,” the brown-haired, green-eyed winner said. “It brings us together.”
Daugherty is also presently Miss Zoneton and in 2009 was Miss Bluegrass.
The summer pageant at the Bullitt County Fair was a good chance for Daugherty to catch up with some old friends.
“I knew a lot of the girls. I went to high school with three of them,” the winner said. “It’s good to have a relationship with them. That made it more fun.
“With the other girls I tried to talk with them or answer their questions,” Daugherty added. “So, I made seven or eight new friends.”
There will now be a whirlwind week of activities during the rest of the Bullitt County Fair before she represents the county in state competition over the winter, something that Winchell did well.
“I’m well aware of that,” Daugherty said with a smile when asked if she knew the responsibilities of winning the crown. “Dana and I went to high school together, but she was two years ahead of me. She was a sweet girl. I hope to carry on what she did.”
The first runner-up on Monday was Kayla Eileen Reynolds, the 18-year old daughter of David and Kristin Reynolds. The Western Kentucky University student, where she is a Co-ed cheerleader with plans to major in dentistry, was sponsored by Hardy-Close Funeral Home.
Finishing as the second runner-up was Abby Lea Karcher, the 20-year old daughter of Steve and Sandy Karcher. The nursing student at Jefferson Community College was sponsored by Castaways Consignment Shop.
The third runner-up was 17-year old Stefanie Elizabeth Burton, the daughter of Tim and Kristal Stillwell who attends Bullitt East High School. She was sponsored by Stillwell Fencing and Construction.
The first name called at the beginning of the awards portion of the competition was that of Paige Nicole Wheatley who is also a student at Bullitt East. The fourth runner-up is the 16-year old daughter of Lisa and Chaney Check and Chris Wheatley. She was sponsored by Lisa Davis Photography.