The cattle show always starts early Monday morning at the Decatur County Fair, and since I had to be there early to help with the horses, I took a quick walk through the barn while they waited for the show to start. The scheduled judge was ill this morning, and an alternate was called in at the last minute, so things got started a bit late.
Tom and Andrew were having a morning discussion.
Dave, in the center of the photo, has been our herd manager for over 30 years. That's a lot of cattle. He retired this month, and our son Andrew will be taking over the position. That's Andrew in the green shirt.
Meanwhile, down at the horse arena, the Horsemaster contest was underway. I helped judge the senior exhibitors, and was able to get a few photos of some of the 4-Hers hard at work. They do a grooming demonstration, a demonstration of their choice, and a horsemanship pattern. They are scored on each one, and also on a written test. The winners are those who have the highest combined scores from each of the four parts.
This junior exhibitor was giving a rodeo demonstration. She showed how to tie a steer using a pigging string.
The judges enjoyed this part of her demo.
Then she showed how to rope the calf. This would actually be done before the feet are tied.
Another junior exhibitor explained, in her words, "the elements of showmanship."
Here, she demonstrated how to move while the judge walks around your horse for inspection.
She also showed how to execute a pivot.
Under the watchful eyes of mom, over by the fence.
These two cousins were waiting their turn, and boy, was it HOT!
Sonny thought so too.
Kelsi is ready for the horsemanship pattern.
As is Kathryn.
And Danielle. Those three senior exhibitors were all very well prepared, and very good. I imagine the scores were quite close.
And... back in the cattle barn, Tom's son Nick has his two Angus heifers ready.
I think the heifer is smiling for the camera.
Guess who else is smiling for the camera? Happy Haleigh!
And Matthew, too, of course.
Nick's two heifers were in the same class, so he asked a friend to show one of them.
Dave and Andrew kept a watchful eye on the show ring.
While Matthew checked out the show schedule.
We enjoyed a traditional fair lunch of fish sandwiches and tenderloins, along with plenty of cold water and lemonade. One of my favorite parts of the county fair!