Register earns national honors for raising cattle

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 12, 2002

Features Editor

Clay Register knows good quality cattle when he sees it and that’s no bull.

Register has been showing steers and heifers for four years at the Pike County show and has walked away with his share of top awards on the local, district and state level.

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Now, he has two national grand champions to his credit.

Register competed in the National Senepol Convention Junior Show and Sale at Auburn University June 5-8 and took top honors with his Senepol heifer and bull.

"The Senepol is a Bostaurus breed of cattle – that means it doesn’t have a hump like the Brahma," Register said. "The Senepol breed originated on the island of St. Croix and produces an excellent, tender meat."

Register said Dennis Paul of Henderson was the one who introduced him to the Senepol breed and he plans to stay with them, especially since he showed national champions.

Although Register knew he had good stock when he entered the national junior show in Auburn, he was surprised to take top honors at the national Senepol convention.

"There were people there from Louisiana, Tennessee and Alabama and it was a good show," Register said. "I showed a heifer and a bull and there were about 10 people who competed. Everyone had good animals and I was very glad to win."

Register had both the grand champion bull and heifer and also took top honors in showmanship.

And, to top it off, Register won the Bar 51 Award for Junior Senepol Breed of the Year.

Register has hardware to show for his accomplishments, but his greatest awards are the animals that he showed.

"It takes a lot of hard work to get ready for a show, but it’s worth it," he said. "I’m not sure why I enjoy raising and showing cows. I like animals and I like working with them."

And, when one of his "animals" stands head and shoulders above the rest, that’s the best feeling in the world.

Register sold his bull at the convention in Auburn, but he brought his heifer back home. He plans to breed her and, as National Senepol Grand Champion, she will produce good stock and that will fit well with Register’s future plans.

Register said he remembers well the day that set his future plans in motion.

His dad came home and asked him if he would like to show a steer.

"I said I would and I got one," he said. "I like raising cows and I like going to shows. I’ve met a lot of people and it’s just a lot of fun."

Register will be a junior at Goshen High School next year and he has given a lot of thought to what he wants to do with his life and, at age 16, he knows where he’s headed.

"I want to go to Auburn and study veterinary medicine," he said. "I’d like to work with large animals and keep raising cattle."

Register will probably stick with the Senepol breed because of the high quality of meat it produces.

No matter what changes come or how often, there is one thing certain, Register has chosen a profession and an avocation that are here to stay.

There will always be animals, large and small, that need care and people will always eat and "they’re going to eat beef."

Register plans to be a part of supplying both needs.