This weekend marks the half way point for the 2015-16 Ohio Cattlemen's Association BEST show season. It has been a different year for us, but in a good way. This is the first year that we have a class just for the miniature breeds. Since we have our own class, we decided to focus on our Miniature Herefords and not have Isaac show a full-sized steer.
Most of the BEST shows are formatted with heifers on one day and steers on the other day with a rotating schedule, so we have been able to reduce the number of days we are at the shows. The boys have missed out on some of the fun by not being there on some of the Sundays, but it has made the show season much more manageable for us to be home that extra day. Not to mention that it has saved on the hotel bills.
The weather has been amazing this year. Last weekend we even stripped off the winter coats because it was almost 60 degrees. Last year this time, the temperature was hovering around zero at almost every show. Washing cows is much easier when you don't have to worry about icicles on their ears.
THE HEART OF IT ALL - LIMA, OH
Lima was a start to a new season and new beginnings. This was the debut of the miniature class and we brought the only two heifers. There was also one miniature steer at this show. Isaac won the miniature heifer division and Walker was reserve in the division. It was great to make it to the final drive and be able to showcase the Miniature Hereford breed. We weren't picked as one of the top 5 heifers...which wasn't a surprise...but it was still an honor to be there. Walker made the finals for beginner showmanship, which was a great way to start off the season.
One of the highlights on The Heart of It All show is the hotel stay. We had just come back from Thanksgiving and then got to meet up with cousins the very next day at the hotel. We ordered pizza in our hotel room, which has become a tradition for us, and then headed across the street to the party going on over at the Holiday Inn pool (everyone else that we showed with stayed there). These are the memories that the kids will treasure.
AGR HOLIDAY CLASSIC - COLUMBUS, OH
Since this was just before the holidays, it was really nice that we were close to home. The heifer show was on Sunday, so Daniel and the boys headed down Saturday morning to do some clipping and just enjoy the show. I was lucky enough to stay home and get caught up around the house and get some Christmas preparation done. I headed down to Columbus in the afternoon to make it in time for showmanship later that night.
Sunday's heifer show netted the same results as Lima. We were the only two miniature heifers and Isaac won the division and Walker got reserve.
SCARLET & GRAY MIDWESTERN SHOWDOWN - COLUMBUS, OH
We headed back to Columbus for another show. It is so nice to be close enough to sleep in our own beds.
We were pleasantly surprised to have two additional miniatures at this show. There was one more Miniature Hereford steer and then there was a Lowline heifer. The Lowline heifer was in the same class with Six. Isaac and Six ended up in second place but went on to win reserve in the miniature division. It was a little bitter sweet to come in second, but we were also glad to have some competition. The Lowline was not entered as a BEST participant so it did not affect the boys points standings.
Six was in heat and not cooperating so Isaac decided to scratch for Showmanship.
I think the absolute best part of this show was when we were cuddled up on the couch Sunday afternoon while all those that showed steers were loading their trailers. We were nice and warm as we looked out the window and watched the snow fall.
MADISON COUNTY WINTER CLASSIC - LONDON, OH
Last weekend was a brand new venue at the Madison County Fairgrounds in London, Ohio. This was about an hour away, so we drove back and forth. The weather was beautiful and the facilities were awesome!
We were fortunate to have Simon Faris from California as one of the judges. We have added him to the list of our favorite judges. He was very down to earth, easy to understand (I didn't have to google any terms) and very descriptive in his rationale. He is a first generation cattleman and it was nice to show our kids how far they can go with a lot of hard work. Sometimes we feel so far behind because we didn't grow up in the cattle world, but it gave us a renewed focus to learn as much as we can to make up for the lost time.
Once again, we were the only two heifers in the miniature class. Isaac won the miniature division and Walker was reserve. Both of the miniature steers were at this show.
This was the smallest show we have been to this year. Since the show went faster and there weren't as many participants, the judges were able to spend some time in the showmanship classes to give each kid pointers. This is the first time that they have been able to do that this year. Our boys really love the one-on-one time with the judges and have improved so much because of this extra help.
Looking back it is hard to believe that we have made it to the half-way mark. Time sure does fly when you are having fun.
The BEST program is a points system that allows those nominated to the program to accumulate points throughout the season. Isaac currently has 73 points and Walker has 43 points. All that Isaac wants this year is to win a buckle. All that Walker wants is for Isaac to win a buckle so that he can inherit Isaac's old buckle.
Isaac wears a buckle that he won when Bunny got Reserve Champion at the Ohio Beef Expo. Walker wears a horse buckle that he stole from his dad. Walker is so embarrassed to wear a horse buckle to a cow show. I told him that no one will ever notice...until a judge asked him one day why he had a horse buckle. His answer...."I haven't won a cow buckle yet."
This has been an great year and we look forward to the rest of the season. We have had a lot of people interested in the miniature class, and we are still holding out hope that more will show up. We are so grateful to the Ohio Cattlemen's Association for taking a chance on us and paving the way for the miniatures.
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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.