A sister and brother were selected as the grand and reserve champions for the 2016 Fayette County Jr. Fair Beef Steer Show held on Tuesday afternoon.
Victoria Waits gave an impressive performance Tuesday as her beef feeder steer calf had already been named the 2016 Jr. Fair Grand Champion earlier in the day. She followed that up with a victory as the overall beef feeder showman and moved onto the steer show. A few more hours passed during the hot day, and by the end Victoria was once again selected to take the top honor of grand champion, this time for her steer.
“(The steer show victory) is amazing,” Victoria said. “I have always loved (her steer). We showed him all through the ‘best series,’ which is a winter show circuit for beef steer and he did pretty well. To be honest, he is my baby boy and I am going to miss him.”
This was a family affair though, and just a few moments after judge Leroy Billman selected Victoria, her brother, Quinton Waits, was selected as the 2016 reserve champion. Quinton won grand champion steer in 2015 and said he was excited to come close to it again this year.
“It feels pretty good,” Quinton said about winning reserve. “We just try to do our best. I wasn’t here to win or do better than anybody, I just want to come and do the best I can and have fun in the project. It’s not about winning always. Never give up and try, try again. No matter how hard it gets. There are some days it seems like your animal is up against you and you feel like you’re never going to make it, but the more you push through that then possibly anyone can make it to this position someday.”
The winners from each class were Brock Bentley, Victoria Waits in class two and four, Quinton Waits, Natalie Lindsey and Audrey Craig.
The beef steer showmanship class was also held on Tuesday, and four classes competed for the coveted overall position. Jacob Sears took the 11th and 12th grade class, Quinton Waits won the ninth and 10th grade class, Victoria Waits placed at the top of the sixth, seventh and eighth grade class and Audrey Craig finished first in the third, fourth and fifth grade class. The four moved on and in the end, Sears was named the 2016 Overall Beef Steer Showman.
“(The show) was pretty exciting and I just put in a lot of hard work,” Sears said. “I had some great competitors with me today and I just got lucky. (To the younger exhibitors) you just have to put in the hard work and just keep at it and keep your hopes up. I want to thank everybody that helps me and teaches me.”
Finally, the two beef showman, Victoria with her feeder and Sears with his steer, competed in one final class to see who would represent the beef industry at the Showman of Showmen class on Saturday. The judge said it was a hard choice to make, and announced Victoria as the overall beef showman.
“I think that both the champion and the reserve were extremely well presented by the exhibitors,” Billman said following the show. “Their steers are what the industry is looking for these days. So it’s nice to come down here and have cattle like that. They are just packed full of muscle and have a lot of rib to them so they will be efficient when you feed them. Just good cattle. I think that there are so many things that the kids can get into today. Good things and they can go the wrong way too. Too many times, I think that parents want to try and force things, with no give and take, and I think that we need to respect the children’s goals and what they want to do with their lives to be able to get respect back from them. I think if we had that mutual respect, everything goes better.”
The Showman of Showmen contest will be held on Saturday in two classes. The first class, for small animals, will be held at the Swine Pavilion at noon and the large division will follow at 1 p.m.
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy