With the quality of cattle in Fayette County, judge Oran Wolfe had a great selection Tuesday during the 2017 Fayette County Junior Fair Market Beef Show to decide a grand and reserve champion.
Two shows were held Tuesday at the sales arena in conjunction with the 2017 Beef Show: the Beef Feeder Show and the Beef Steer Show. The Beef Feeder Show started at about 3 p.m. and exhibitors of all ages turned out to compete for the coveted grand and reserve champion trophy. After several hours, Macie Riley took home the top honor as well as grand champion born and raised, a classification for cattle bred and fed right here in Fayette County.
Riley said through tears that it felt amazing to win this top prize. She thanked her mom and dad for their help with the project and the judge for his decision.
“They have to be good today, and I have to see them being good a year, two years from now,” Wolfe said. “So it isn’t just about who is the best today and in the future. I don’t want these kids thinking they have a great one and then it begins breaking down, so I want one that has longevity, but it also has to have great eye appeal, functionality, soundness and still produce the beef product that we are after. That animal just overpowered the rest with its mass. I don’t like judging steers against heifers, they are two different animals, but I believe that steer is a better steer than the heifer is a heifer.”
Taking both beef feeder reserve champion and reserve born and raised prizes was McKenzie Riley.
In the evening, the Beef Steer Show started at about 6:30 p.m. with six classes competing for grand champion steer. Wolfe narrowed it down and by about 8 p.m., McKenzie Riley had won the Grand Champion Steer prize.
“I am very thankful for all the people that helped me, including my family,” McKenzie said with tears in her eyes. “I just felt like he was on 12 o’clock today, he was fresh and it was a lot of luck. The judge was very helpful and encouraging. (To the younger exhibitors) just always keep pushing forward and never give up.”
The judge said that the winning steer had great eye appeal, had the thickest, squarest top and was the nicest and most fresh steer. He said the steer had good bone, body and muscle. Despite a couple small issues with his legs, he said that the steer was a great package. Overall, he said that not one steer in the show would be a bad purchase at a sale.
Victoria Waits won the reserve champion steer prize. Between Victoria and her brother Quinton Waits, they placed three in the top five steer at Tuesday’s show.
During the shows, Quinton was named the Overall Beef Feeder Showman and Beef Steer Showman. Waits said he will not be competing on Saturday as he will be traveling to the Ohio State Fair for a prior engagement. Another class was held Tuesday evening to decide who would represent the beef category at the Showman of Showmen competition. Following that class, Victoria was chosen to represent the beef.
“I am incredibly proud of my kids,” Kris Waits, mother of Victoria and Quinton, said. “They get up every morning, they go to the barn, they work hard, they have goals, they achieve their goals and I couldn’t be more proud. This is the fourth time Victoria will be in Showman of Showmen, we are really proud of her. As a family we push showmanship with our kids. If you can show an animal, that is what’s important to us.”
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy