I grew up showing cattle; it was my passion! I showed a few sheep also. I honestly believe that you can take a girl out of the showring, but never the showring out of the girl. The sights, sounds and smells of a show always bring back memories. Awesome friends, family, fun times, and great steers.
When I go home to visit Mom and Dad it is inevitable that some thing reminds us of … such and such a steer … do you remember the show when … what ever happened to so and so.
A long time showman in Indiana told my Dad that “You may not remember all the times you won, but you will always remember the times you thought you should have won and didn’t.” Those times still make good conversation around the kitchen table.
Here are two poems I found years ago. I hope you enjoy them and remember the good days you had showing livestock.
He bellows mightily
in a show of triumph
a traditional gesture of meeting
and the arena explodes in a wave of unbridled applause.
Standing at the pinnacle am I
the culmination of my toil
that infinite moment of tremendous glory.
A disbelieving smile covers my face
I own the Earth for this long, long minute.
He can feel it, too
aware of his achievement
all eyes upon him.
For this is his moment as well.
Suddenly, in the eyes of others, he is twice as good.
He strides long and proud
if he could smile he would
It’s over, Dad’s buying.
I stay to finish what I’ve started
and humbly accept the round of congratulations
with barley contained jubilance
in every shake of the competitor’s hand.
Now he’s gone
and the moment to our fame sits,
merely collecting dust
and the ribbons aren’t as bright.
My place of tribulation in not a glamorous theater
not a gorgeous villa
but an aging structure with a rust-streaked tin roof
he walked a way on gravel
not a red carpet
and I wore jeans and a polo, not a tuxedo.
But that long, long minute
will always shine bright
in my eyes and in my heart
even though we are now apart
~Found in the National Livestock Exhibitor~
Why Do Cattle Families Do It?
They come from all across the country on the appointed day. Most should be at home spraying corn or bailing hay.
They broke their best yearlings, and now they are ready to show. So they have loaded the tailor and headed to the Summer Expo.
For many it’s a family outing as they cross the states. The pickup is being pushed hard, ‘cause many are running late.
For cattlemen this is the Family vacation- to get away is a bear! The next one will come in August when they return to State Fair.
The kids have on their Wranglers pressed and creased by all means! City cousins will never understand why they don’t where designer jeans!
These kids are on a mission; you’ll never call them quitters. They’re out to produce and fit and show Grand Champion critters.
It’s a Herculean task, but yet they have a lot of fun.
But when the judge is finished,there will be just one.
Why do cattle families do it? Is it just to get bids?
It’s to showcase their best crop – Not the cattle, but the kids.
~Found in the Simmental Register June/July 2000~
Did you grow up in the showring? What are some of your favorite memories from showing?