And They Call the Thing a Cattle Show

If you would have told me ten years ago that I would be showing cattle, I would have asked you why anyone would want to do that. Somehow, in a roundabout way, my love of horses led me to my passion of cattle. Showing cattle has developed me into the person I am today and given me a love of the beef industry. I can honestly say, that without this experience, I would be nowhere near where I am today, and I most certainly wouldn’t be a National Beef Ambassador!  I get asked a lot what exactly showing cattle entails, and people are often surprised at the answer! I would like to briefly share a little bit about the world of cattle showing with y’all today.

The first thing y’all should know is that show cattle kids are CRAZY. We spend hours upon hours working and growing hair on our cattle, formulating special rations and spending time with our animals. Show cattle are more pets than anything else!

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The little monster, “Elsie”, hanging out in the house

Long before show day ever happens, we spend time rinsing our cattle everyday (sometimes multiple times a day) and working hair. This involves brushing them, putting in conditioners and then using a blower(essentially a very powerful hairdryer) to get them dry and make the hair “pop”.   All of these things are necessary to make the hair work for us on show day and be easier to clip.  A couple days before the show, we clip out our animals. Many people think this is simply shaving the cattle, but it would be more similar to sculpting. We shape the cattle’s hair so that it highlights their good features and can help to hide some of their bad. Clipping cattle requires great expertise and can truly transform a calf!

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Before

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After

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, on show day, we give our animals a good bath, get them blown out just right and add oils to make them shine. We give them a final clip to make sure they look perfect, and add adhesives in their legs to make them look stockier.  Their halters are polished, and with show stick in hand, we head to the show ring to try and make a go for Grand!

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Showing a Cow/Calf Pair at AZ Nationals

Some of my best memories are hanging out at stock shows. There is just something magical about walking in the ring, and there is no better feeling than getting the “Champion Slap”. I am lucky that every year, I get to attend the Arizona National Livestock Show, in fact, it is one of my favorite things about coming home for Winter Break. We had a great show these past few days, and now we get ready for the next set of babies to start pampering for show season!

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Breakfast time at the Show!

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Pretty Proud!

 

 

 

Happy New Year Everyone!

Alicia

 

 

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