The Fayette County Junior Fair Beef Feeder and Steer shows were held on Tuesday with Quinton Waits taking the grand champion title in both.
The shows, which began at 3 p.m. Tuesday, lasted for almost seven hours. In what could possibly be his last year showing, Waits is certainly having his fair share of success at the 139th-annual Fayette County Fair. Waits expressed his excitement following the first announcement, but was even more excited to also take the beef steer competition later in the evening.
“I have had (my steer) for a few years now and showed him through ‘The Best’ series,” Waits said. “I worked with him every day and every night. You know you get up at 5 a.m., get out there and wash them so they look all good to go and it has just been a great experience this year at the fair. Getting three grand champions titles, the turkey, the beef feeder and the beef steer. It is great because from the beginning we have wanted to be the ones to get grand champion and working to get there. It is amazing to see how we have come from the beginning to how we are now.”
Waits wasn’t done there though and went on to win the overall beef feeder showman during the showmanship competition.
This wasn’t all the good news for the Waits family as the Fayette County Beef Queen Victoria Waits — Quinton’s sister — took the reserve champion beef feeder title and third overall in the beef steer show.
“For me, being a role model is making sure that I am one of the people that stays positive about everything, and being there for anyone who needs me,” Victoria said. “Just being there for the younger kids to look up to. I know when I was little I wanted that role model to look up to. It just means so much to me to be that role model for these kids.”
Also placing well during the shows was McKenzie Riley, the Fayette County Junior Fair Board president. Riley managed to take third overall in the beef feeder show, pulled off an impressive reserve champion spot in the beef steer competition, and was named the overall beef steer showman. The emotion could be seen in Riley’s face as the announcement came from the judge Tuesday.
“I’m just thankful because of everything that has happened,” Riley said. “We worked so hard every morning and every night. We didn’t give up and we prayed about it and our prayers have been answered. I am just super thankful about everything going on this year in 4-H and the fair.”
Results for the top five overall from the 2018 Fayette County Junior Fair Beef Feeder Show: Quinton Waits, grand champion; Victoria Waits, reserve champion; McKenzie Riley, third overall; Justin Etzler, fourth overall; and Macie Riley, fifth overall.
Results for the top five overall from the 2018 Fayette County Junior Fair Beef Steer Show: Quinton Waits, grand champion; McKenzie Riley, reserve champion; Victoria Waits, third overall; Caitlin Cottrill, fourth overall; and Natalie Lindsey, fifth overall.
The judge for the events — Oran Wolfe — said Tuesday he was impressed with the quality of cattle being presented in Fayette County.
“I am impressed, a lot of places you go to and they show some not so great stuff, but regardless if that’s what they have to bring then they should show them,” Wolfe said. “But what I am impressed with the most is that we don’t have a bunch of structural issues in these cattle. It is heartbreaking to see a kid start with a calf, work that calf, and then it falls apart structurally before they get back the next year.”
In the end, Riley and Waits competed to see who would move on Saturday to the Showman of Showmen competition and represent the beef industry. Following the final class of the evening just a few minutes after 9 p.m., Riley was announced as the overall beef showman.
“It really makes me feel like all of the hard work and the time that was spent with him practicing has really paid off,” Riley said. “From day to day we would wash him, walk him, just mess with them and love on them until they get trust in you. To all the younger exhibitors, always keep trying and don’t give up. Hard work will pay off.”
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy