Last week we were in Louisville, Kentucky for the 2019 North American International Livestock Expo.
Since I put the show program together, I knew that there were going to be an incredible set of cattle in the show ring. We didn't expect to do that well this year. We have good cattle, but there were some amazing cattle in the show ring. We took our two bulls, Smith and Wesson, and were hoping we might win something in the division and possibly in the pair of bulls, but that is all we could hope for.
The unexpected made it so much more fun.
We have 2 bulls. Smith and Wesson are both out of the sire SS Sir Gene and were born a day apart. We always knew we wanted to show them as a pair of bulls and just have some fun with them.
How can you not have fun with two bulls named Smith and Wesson?
Smith and Wesson are very similar, but very different in many ways. Smith has better shoulders and is more feminine, but Wesson has that beefy bull build that we love. It all comes down to the judges preference. Smith won Reserve Grand Champion at the Ohio State Fair, so it was anyone's guess as to how things would go in the ring at NAILE.
Obviously, Smith and Wesson were in the same class. The judge paired the class down to the final three. And then he stood there...and looked...and crossed his arms...and walked around to the other side...and looked some more...and then finally...
He picked Wesson as the class and division winner and Smith as the class and division reserve.
That meant that both my boys were in the bull final drive. Isaac and Wesson as Intermediate Senior Bull division winner and Walker and Smith as the Intermediate Senior Bull reserve division winner.
The two year old bull class was amazing! There were 6 bulls in the class and it was a deep class. Our guess was that Tyrion would win Grand and Doc Holiday would win reserve. Both of these bulls have multiple titles.
But...that isn't what happened.
The judge picked Tyrion as the Grand Champion Bull...
He started walking towards Doc Holiday and then cut down the middle of the row and headed straight for Isaac.
Wesson was the Reserve Grand Champion bull!
That smile says it all.
Isaac had to maintain his composure and excitement for a little bit longer. He and Walker had to go back in for the Pair of Bulls.
Smith and Wesson won the pair of bulls class. That wasn't a huge surprise to us after the comments the judge had made in their class and how much trouble he had choosing between them.
Next up was the Get of Sire class. Isaac and Wesson joined Hudson Fleener and KLD Miniature Herefords in exhibiting animals out of the sire SS Sir Gene. They won the class.
Isaac showed Angel and she won reserve in the Summer Senior Heifer division.
That is when Momma got emotional. We have been on such a roller coaster ride with her. Just about every other day Isaac would come in from the barn and say he wasn't going to take her. She did much better on this trip and actually stayed on feed and water.
Isaac loves Angel and has fought so hard. He has always believed in her and she finally achieved what we all knew she could.
Isaac made it to both final drives. He was in the reserve lineup for the heifers, but it is still pretty amazing to be a part of the final drive.
Walker showed Candy Cane, his heifer for this show season.
Isaac also showed his new heifer, Spirit.
Wednesday was the junior show and the highlight was Walker winning 2nd place in Intermediate Showmanship.
It was a great week.
We had so much help from all those that pitched in as ring men, help with check-in, stall assignments and lining up cattle. We couldn't have done it without all of them.
We also couldn't have survived the week with out the help of Nick. Since Daniel and I are so busy with running the show, we don't have a lot of time to help with the cows. Daniel certainly doesn't have the time to clip and fit, since he is working the ring. Nick kept the boys on track and everything flowing and on time back in the barn. He was our right hand man.
Show day donuts and juice were a big hit. We always enjoy the comaraderie that is sparked by just a little food and opportunities to visit
But what really made the week great was the amazing people that brought some incredible cows.
This is a picture of the make up ring. I don't think I remember a show with so much laughing, joking, bantering, holding each others cows, showing for someone else and helping each other out as I saw on these two show days. We are all competing against each other, but at the end of the day, we are friends.
We met a lot of new people this week. Some are people we have known about, just never had the opportunity to meet personally. Year after year we have built friendships that started as someone we met at a show, and through the years those acquaintances have turned into friendships.
This pictures depicts several of those friendships. Tuesday night, while I was back at the hotel finalizing the show bill, Daniel cut his finger pretty badly. One of those friends offered barn first aid in the form of a paper towel and vet wrap. A couple of days later, we called in the surgical nurse friend to make sure it wasn't infected and help him super glue the wound together...because he didn't go get stitches.
It was our calamity of the week (we always have one of those), but it will also be the story we remember and the story those friends remember.
And we banned Daniel from using his knife the rest of the week.
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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.