This was our 4th year to attend the North American International Expo.
âThis year was different for us because not only were we exhibiting, but we were also in charge of the Miniature Hereford show.
It was a very busy week, but it was a good week....mostly.
Our trip startedâ¦not so good.
Just an hour and a half into our trip, we had a run-in with a monster buck. Fortunately, the headlight wasn't broken and the radiator wasn't punctured so we were able to continue on.
After the initial shock wore off, we realized how lucky we were. To be honest, I am surprised the air bags didn't go off. You have to make so many split second decisions and Daniel did a great job getting slowed down as much as he could, didn't lock up the brakes, and didn't roll or jackknife the trailer. We were all ok.
Yes, it was a huge buck!
No, we didn't keep the rack...we just saw pieces of it fly over the truck.
No, we didn't keep the meat. It was pitch black and by the time he got the truck and trailer stopped...it was way behind us.
Yes, when we came back on Friday we did see it dead on the side of the road.
No, we did not turn around to go see how big the rack really was...even though the boys wanted us to. Isaac was asleep when we hit it and was so mad he didn't get to see how big it was.
It may not look like much from the picture, but the whole front end is pushed in and the repair quote is over $6,000.
We were behind schedule, but we continued on.â
By the time we got to Louisville, unloaded and Daniel and I made last minute show arrangements with the office, we were all pretty tired. We knew the cows were just as tired as we were, so we decided to call it a day.
Wednesday, we cleaned the cows up.
Everyone doing their part.
And Nick did some final touch ups.
But it wasn't all work and no play.
Some of the boys had a chin up contest.
Some friendly rough housing.
And boys just being boys...playing with army guys.
Wednesday night, the rain turned to freezing rain.
Our hotel lost power about midnight and still wasn't on when we left for the barns in the morning. If you could only imagine what was going through our minds as we layed awake all night.
Are the roads icy?
Will the judges be able to get here?
Is there power at the barn or has the ice knocked out power to most of the city?
How do we get ready for the show without power?
Did enough people bring generators to share?
We have to have the show....people came from as far away as Texas for this show..
And on and on....
Fortunately, it was an isolated power outage and the Expo Center had full power.
This is not our tent or our cow, but you can see how much ice we had. The tent did not survive, but the cows were o.k. A little bewildered, but o.k.
Show day started with exhibitors shooting the breeze and eating donuts.
Easing into the day.
Daniel said he wasn't going to do any clipping...but he couldn't contain himself.
This is the last show prep picture I have.
Daniel and I were busy setting up awards, meeting the judges, and getting all the last minute show details in place.
Nick and the boys were on there own.
They did a great job.
They made it to the show ring on time and the cows looked great.
That is four of our five animals. Nick was still back in the barn finishing up Ribbon.
They said they really missed us. They had a lot of weight on their shoulders...things to do they don't normally have to think about.
I think they appreciate Mom and Dad now.
Don't they look all grown up?
It was finally show time.
Daniel was working the ring. I was keeping track of the placings and taking pictures.
Nick and the boys were trying to make sure the calves didn't lie down...they were only partly successful.
They had to keep track of their back numbers and when they needed to be in the ring.
They did it.
Angel and Romance were in the first class.
Angel got first and Romance got second.
The judge called Angel a "whale of a heifer".
Silver was up next...and not too happy about it.
ââI love Walker's face!
But, she got the hang of it and finally started walking.
âSilver got 2nd in her class.
And then there was Rhythm.
Angel, Romance and Silver were all in the Junior Heifer division final drive.
We had to borrow Cody Ramsey to help show.
Angel came away with Reserve Junior Heifer Calf!
Isaac was one happy boy!
This is one of his own calves and he is going to be showing her all season. He is so excited to see what she will do.
I love looking out at the make-up ring and seeing all the conversations and interaction among the exhibitors.
Isaac and Ribbon were up next.
Then it was the final drive.
Isaac was in the reserve line with Angel.
She didn't win, but we didn't expect that with such a young calf.
Whether you win or lose, it is always an honor to be in the final drive. To be in the line-up of the best.
We entered two sets in the Pair of Females class.
Angel was paired with Silver and Rhythm was paired with Romance.
I was busy taking pictures and didn't realize what was happening, but we won Grand and Reserve Pair of Females!
Angel and Silver were Grand and Rhythm and Romance were Reserve.
After the open show was the pre-junior show, followed by the junior show.
By this point, I couldn't feel my feet, my legs were aching and the calves were just as tired. No matter how hard the boys tried, they couldn't keep them from laying down.
Angel, Romance and Silver were all in the same class, so we borrowed Cody again to help show.
Ribbon and Angel won their classes and Romance was second.
That meant we had 3 cows in the junior show final drive.
Again, a huge honor and so fun to see my boys out in the ring together.
Isaac chose to show Ribbon in the final drive...it was Ribbon's last time in the ring and Isaac wanted to finish what they had started together.
The show was over.
We had survived. The week held a few hiccups, but nothing we couldn't overcome. The hiccups are the things that make life interesting and what you remember most about the trip.
Daniel and I learned a lot...a lot about how much work it is to put on a show. A lot about how much you need to depend on other people. We couldn't have pulled it off without the behind the scenes help, the last minute help and those that encouraged us when things got dicey.
We had the privilege of showing with a great group of people. I met so many new people and built friendships that will only continue to grow as we continue to show together.
We always go to a show hoping to do well, but never really knowing how well we will do.
We had 4 young calves that had never been in front of a judge before. We thought they were all good, but we always anxiously await the judge's comments.
Some years we leave Louisville with just our memories, but this year we were fortunate to leave with some pretty nice awards.
It was a good year.
âIt was a fun year.
But it is always good to come home.
And what a beautiful sight we were greeted with.
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Hello! I am Heather... the city girl turned mom to manure loving country boys. My husband and I both grew up in the city, but spent weekends visiting grandparents in the country. We are first generation farmers who learn best by almost always doing things the hard way. I hope you enjoy following along with our adventures down on the farm.