April 19th, 2008 marked our return to Winchester's High on the Hog contest. It also was the first since the passing of Fred Gould. Fred had a profound impact on the BBQ community and was a big part of the High on the Hog contest. I had met Fred at last years High on the Hog contest. Fred was one of those people who made you feel like you had know him for years. Fred will be missed but remembered fondly in the hearts of many.
The High on the Hog contest also marked the one year anniversary of meeting current DoRagQ Team member Richard Finley. Richard's contributions to our team cannot be measured. He has become a close and dear friend and I look forward to many many years of BBQ and friendship. Thank you Richard!
Ok, now that we have gotten some things off my chest, let's tell you about the contest. I picked Richard up on the way to Winchester. Gary had to work and would catch up with us later. We had the same spot as last year, right on the lake beside the boat ramp. We noticed the lake was quite a bit higher that last year. We had great weather for the most part. Only a small shower Friday night. Once set up, Richard and I began preparing the meat. Once completed we had some time to visit. There were 52 Teams competing including close friends Music City Pig Pals, Ulika, Lotta Bull, Buttrub.com, High on the Hawg, Wild Bunch Butt Burners, Swiggin' Pig, Big Brig.com, Pig Smokers in Paradise, Governors B-B-Q, Scenic City Smokers, J.C.'s Pit Crew, Sun Bear BBQ, and Porkenstein to name a few. It was good to see everyone again. Kinda like a family reunion. Gary arrived late afternoon and DoRagQ was IN THE HOUSE! The rain cut down on our socializing so we just retired to Casa DoRag and got ready for the long night ahead.
Saturday morning brought sunshine and the hopes of a respectable finish. Gary's turn in boxes looked great and all that was left was to let the Judges do their thing. Once turn in was completed, Gary had to head back home for a prior commitment and left Richard and myself to attend the awards. We finished 18th in chicken, 29th in ribs, 3rd in pork, and 46th in brisket. That placed us 22nd overall. While not a great finish, I was happy with getting to "walk" in pork. I was most dissapointed with our brisket. I really thought we had cooked the best one yet. I was ok with our chicken finish and still scratching my head trying to figure out our ribs. Still not a bad finish considering the level of competition.
The Grand Champion went to Bareknuckles BBQ, with Team Bobby-Q getting the Reserve Grand Champion call. Other notables were 3rd Wild Bunch Butt Burners, 4th Buttrub.com, 6th Music City Pig Pals, 7th Ulika, 9th Lotta Bull, and 11th High on the Hawg.
All in all we can't complain. We are still getting use to our new trailer, cooker, and technique. Thanks to Gary and Richard who "complete me". I could not and would not want to do this without them. To see pictures from this contest, click the link below.