2017 - The Last

I have been grateful with some of the most amazing experiences I could ever imagine. But all amazing things, don’t last forever… before you know it, you will be coming down the home stretch. It’s bitter sweet; it’s exciting, it’s sad… it’s everything you ever dreamed of it being. But what did you gain from the experiences? Way more than you ever bargained for.

2017 - the last of many for me, two things in particular. My last round of undergrad studies (that isn’t depressing… HALLELUEIGH FOR BEING GRADUATED!), and the year that I can officially say, “I’m too old to do this…” Depressing, right? I know… For those of you who don’t know, I have been showing cattle since I was around 5 years old, its not just a hobby for me, its an income, its my life, and its my passion.

The kind of feeling I get as soon as I get to a cattle show, and walk into the show ring is unexplainable, and I have DREADED getting to this point of my show career. When you turn 21, you are officially “old”(according to the cattle industry), your junior show career ends, which means NO MORE SHOWMANSHIP.

Showmanship was my FAVORITE part of a show, if a show had showmanship; you better believe I was signing up. Showmanship was a chance for me to show the judge how much time I have been putting in at home. I may not have had the best cattle to win Supreme Heifer or Grand Champion Steer, but not having those opportunities made my desire and drive to win showmanship stronger.

Through the years from PeeWee Showmanship, all the way down to walking into my very last showmanship division, I remember it all. Back in 2005, I won Champion PeeWee Showman at the Maryland Junior Hereford Preview Show (my first time in the ring - when I knew it wasn’t going to be my last; my showmanship days were just starting) and down to my very last walk into a showmanship class this year when I won Senior Showman, at the ABC Junior Show. Through these experiences it wasn’t all about the winning, it was about the things I have learned along the way.

Here are five things I learned during my experience in the show ring:

1. Sportsmanship;

Win or loose – come out of the ring with a smile on your face, congratulate your friends and acquaintances (whether you like them or not), it was one persons opinion that day, you did your best and you have other shows to try harder at.

2. Do your homework;

Success in the show ring starts at home. The hours spent, blood, sweat and tears will not go unnoticed when you get into the ring… trust me, the judge will notice it.

3. Dress to impress… ALWAYS;

One of the first things the judge will see when you walk into the show ring is how you are presenting yourself. Wear a nice colored button down, nice dark jeans with no holes, nice pair of cowboy boots, hair back and out of your face, belt and little to no jewelry… keep it simple, professional and classy. Some judges will call you out over the microphone, super embarrassing! Not only should you ‘dress to impress’ in the show ring, do it out of the ring too. I have always been told to “dress like the CEO”… ALL.THE.TIME.

4. Be teachable… Be the teacher;

There is ALWAYS room for improvement, there is no perfect showman out there, and we all mess up. If someone is willing to be your coach and help you succeed in and out of the show ring, let him or her. If you see someone struggling with showmanship, help them. Remember that when you’re in or out of the ring… those little eyes and ears are watching your every move and listening to everything you say. Be a coach, a mentor, someone for the younger generation to look up to. The best feeling in the world is having a kid’s parent come up to you and say “My daughter and I love watching you in the ring. My daughter wants to be just like you someday.”


MOST IMPORTANT… It is okay to be proud of your success, but don’t be too cocky. Know that there is always room for improvement. Storming out of the show ring is something people are going to remember more than anything. Make a good impression on everyone around you. Be kind and help others when they need it, especially in the ring. Don’t just stop and stand there if the calf in front of you isn’t moving, help your fellow showman, because you would want someone doing that for you. Overall, treat people the way you want to be treated.

Who knew that showmanship could teach you so much about life in general? Thank the Lord for the times I have had on those shavings and late nights in the barns. I will forever be grateful for the success in the ring, but also the times when it wasn’t my day to win… I have learned so much along the way, and I hope to continue to pass on what I have learned to others that have the same love and passion that I do for the cattle industry.

 "I have watched this girl show her cattle for many years. I watched her go into her last showmanship class ever... her drive and determination is what makes her unique. I know she can do anything she puts her mind to, today we are starting a new journey for her..." 

Thank you to everyone who has helped me succeed over the years, the ones who always knew I could do it and taught me everything I know. None of this would have been possible without you. 

Anyone, younger or older, that wants help with their showmanship skills... I will be a teacher, a coach, a mentor... FOR ANYONE, just let me know!

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