On Sunday, we went to the Indiana State Fairgrounds to the Hoosier Beef Congress to watch grandson Matthew participate in his very first cattle show. Grandpa and the kids were just hanging out until it was time to get ready.
Haleigh was happy to be there, in her new shirt her mom bought her. She was a little sick on the ride to the fairgrounds, which necessitated the purchase of a clean shirt.
Ella was ready to do some brushing.
And she and Grandpa watched as the pre-show grooming began.
Everyone gets into the act.
Andrew was scooping poop,
Darci was working on the tailhead,
and Matthew was spraying the feet.
THEN, it's time to get the little showman dressed!
Here he is, giving his heifer, Lucy, a little pep talk.
I hope she was listening!
Here they are in the makeup area, waiting for their turn in the ring.
To share a little bit about Lucy, she is an Angus heifer, nearly a year old, who weighs around 750 pounds. Matthew is 8 years old, and weighs about 55 pounds. Can you see where this is going?
Here he is working hard to set her up. He uses the show stick to scratch her belly, so that she'll stand straight for the judge. This class is judging heifers (young females) of similar age for correct body structure and conformation. Just after this photo was taken, Lucy decided she wanted to be the boss. With around a 700 pound weight advantage, guess who was the winner? And I'm not talking about the class winner. :)
He held on to her until he went to the dirt, at which point it is both smart and prudent to let. go. of. the. lead. strap. Which he did, thankfully.
He picked himself up, brushed himself off, took his heifer back from the ring man, and kept on showing. Very brave of him. I have watched a few cattle shows over the years, and I have seen a few many calves loose in the ring. I've even seen them loose on the midway (Jonathan), and a calf named Jerry (not ours this time) that almost made it to the bypass. If you have shown a calf, chances are you have had one many get away from you, especially in your first years of showing. Especially for a little guy who can barely see over her neck.
He finished the class, and his perseverance, along with the dirt on his jeans, earned him a nice round of applause from the crowd. You can see some of them smiling in the background, probably remembering a time when they, or someone they love, was a first year showman with a great big calf on the end of the lead.
Back at the stall, he was proud of his ribbon. And I was proud of him.
And the whole thing was recorded on video so his mom could show him the instant replay.
Little Haleigh was all worn out from the show day (and the stomach bug that hit her).
Ella enjoyed a cookie while Grandpa enjoyed a little nap. I know. Hard to believe.
And Matthew, with his first show under his belt, was still smiling as he posed with Lucy. He is already looking forward to their next show together. Granny, on the other hand, will just keep praying. :)