Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Just Show It

It was cattle show day at the county fair on Monday, and grandson Matthew was up early to get his Angus heifer ready for their rookie 4-H show. He did show her in December at the Hoosier Beef Congress, but this was his first time to show right here in Decatur County.

I got there after most of the work was done, which means the heifer was fed and watered, bathed and dried, brushed, polished, and clipped. Only then is there a chance for the showman to change his clothes and have a little breakfast himself.
Lucy is clean, and will stand in the chute until it's their turn in the ring.
Matthew and cousin Will supervise while Lucy gets a drink of water.
Matthew and Grandpa before the show.
And a picture with his sisters.
Cousin Nick is a ten year 4-H member, and seems to be giving the rookie a little show day advice. Or maybe he's just telling him how to look cool in your jeans and boots.
Pretty soon, it's time for their class.

I like this photo because it shows Dave (retired herdsman) and Andrew (current herdsman) explaining to Matthew (rookie showman) where to go in the ring. Got it, Matthew?
One more swipe with the comb from Dad, and we're ready to go.

As you can tell, the heifer is BIG, and Matthew is small. Sometimes she doesn't really want to walk. If you look closely, you can see Jennifer and Jim over the heifer's back watching the action.
The judge took time to talk to each exhibitor.
Around the ring they go. For the non-cattle folks who might be reading, he is holding a show stick. When he stops to set up his calf, he uses the show stick to scratch her belly to relax and calm her so she will stand still. He also might use it to touch her feet so that she will move them so she's standing square. We want her to look her best in the ring.
Holding her head up, 'sticking' her, and, always, keeping his eyes on the judge.
For a little guy, it's hard to watch the judge when you can't see over your calf!
Here she is, standing pretty square, with Matthew working the show stick. You can see the girl behind him trying to move a foot with her pink show stick.
Here he is listening while the judge gives his reasons as he places the class.
Hooray! Champion Angus heifer! Here he is standing with the Emly family who presented the award in memory of husband/father, William Emly.
Way to go, Matthew!
Of course, winning means that he goes back in the ring later to compete with the champion heifers from all other breeds.
All ready to go... again.
And just for fun, a photo of his dad, Andrew, back in his show days.
Great job, Matthew!
You too, Lucy. :)
After the show, we got a photo of four generations. Great-grandpa John, grandpa Jim, dad Andrew, and Matthew. What a blessing to be able to share the tradition of cattle shows and the county fair. God is good!
After lunch, they recognized all the first year 4-H beef exhibitors. Matthew is proud! (And he knows how to smile for Granny's camera). :)
They each got a bucket to help them keep up the good work as young cattlemen (and women).
Aunt Fer and Ella enjoyed watching the show.
Elsewhere around the fairgrounds, we found delicious fish sandwiches...
and pretty purple horses (according to Haleigh).
We drank some yummy lemonade...
and got our heart broken a few times.

It's tough to be a little girl sometimes! (Especially on long, hot days at the fair.)
We squeezed through the barn exit...
and rode the merry-go-round with Grandpa.
We caught up with old friends at the horse barn...
and enjoyed a sweet treat.
A perfect day at the Decatur County Fair!

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