Invitational Steer, Heifer show this weekend

Published 6:55 pm Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Not every kid is playing baseball or splashing around in the swimming pool this summer.

Some youngsters are competing in invitational steer and heifer shows in an effort to prepare them for the upcoming “calf” season.

On Friday, June 18, 47 kids from local counties and from as far away as North Alabama and Georgia will compete for blue ribbons and prize money in the Pike County Invitational Steer and Heifer Show at Cattleman Park. The show is sponsored by the Pike County Cattlemen’s Association as a means of providing show experience for young people and to make the public more aware of the facilities and events offered at Cattleman Park.

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The Pike County Invitational Steer and Heifer Show is open to all youngsters who are in 4-H clubs or the FFA.

Cattleman Jeffrey Johnson said this year’s show has more kids participating but fewer calves.

“We have the most kids that we’ve ever had but, usually, they will show two or more calves,” he said. “This year, most are showing only one. We’ve got less calves per kid but we are very encouraged to have more kids participating. That’s a good sign for the future.”

The Pike County Invitational Steer and Heifer Show will open at 7 p.m. Friday with the intermediate, junior and senior showmanship events. Then, at 8 a.m. Saturday, the kids and calves will be back in the ring for the heifer show with the steer show immediately following.

Summer invitational shows are popular because they are opportunities for the kids and the calves to get in the ring early.

“The calves in the Invitationals are prospect claves,” Johnson said. “The county, district and state shows in the spring are the end projects so the calves the kids have now are the ones they will be working with throughout the year. Getting in the ring early helps them and the calves used to the ring and each other.”

The Invitational offers good prize money with the kids that show the Grand Champion steer and heifer taking home $500 each. The Reserve Champions receive $250 each.

The prize money for showmanship and the winner of each class is $25.

“The Pike County Cattlemen pay for the top five steers and heifers and the prize money is reduced in increments of $5,” Johnson said. “Showing calves is rather expensive. Some people spend Friday night in town so, when you figure in motels, gas and food, it comes to a good bit of money. The prize money helps out a little.”

There is no admission to either of the Pike County Invitational Steer and Heifer Show events. The public is invited to the showmanship event on Friday night and back again on Saturday morning for the steer and heifer show.