Victoria Waits took two of the top honors during the 2016 Fayette County Jr. Fair Beef Feeder Calf Show on Tuesday afternoon after several hours of showing.
The show began at 3 p.m. at the sales area with 11 classes slated to compete. With the heat rising, the competitors had a bit of work ahead with potentially irritable calves to keep in mind. Once the class winners were announced, they assembled for the final class to determine the grand and reserve champions. Waits’ steer calf was then named the grand champion over all of the other heifer and steer in the class.
“It feels awesome (to have won grand champion),” Waits said following the class. “Last year, my brother won grand champion steer and I just wanted to prove I could win one too. To the younger exhibitors, just don’t give up on your cows. He was acting up in his class and then we took him for a walk and he started settling down, so just don’t give up. I want to thank my family and Jake Osborn, for helping me get my calf, and Jeff Bain, my uncle, for helping me fit him.”
Waits was not finished though and moved on to compete in the sixth, seventh and eighth grade showmanship classes. She took first place for her grade to move on to the overall showman class. Finally, the long day paid off once more with a victory. Waits will move on to compete as the Overall Beef Feeder Showman on Saturday.
“It feels awesome (to follow up grand champion victory with overall showman victory),” Waits said. “Hopefully we will get through it. I get to show my baby on Saturday. I have always wanted to show a horse, but mainly I stuck with a cow because of how big and fluffy they are. I can use them as a pillow whenever I want to sleep.”
In the final show class, Audrey Craig claimed the reserve champion with her beef feeder heifer calf and also claimed fourth place with her beef feeder steer calf. Craig said it felt awesome to win reserve champion and this is her third year showing at the fair.
“It has been difficult to raise the calf, but the few times I have worked with her, she did pretty awesome and that was probably what helped me today,” Craig said. “I have won the Born and Raised Class before and a lot of weight class champions. I want to thank Jason George, my parents and my sister for helping.”
“(The grand champion) was just an incredibly smooth and well-balanced steer,” Judge Leroy Billman said following the grand champion class. “I just think all of the kids who are out here, on a hot day like this, they’re patience has been good, they have been a pleasure to work with, and they are all being respectful and courteous. Just hot days like this, it is hard for everyone to keep their composure and I think these kids are doing a marvelous job. Fayette County has always been known for its quality cattle and when I got asked to judge Fayette County I told my wife, ‘This will be fun because there are quality cattle down there.’”
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy