Showmanship key for Round Robin ribbons

From Article: 4-H roundup: Showmanship key for Round Robin ribbons

IMPERIAL — Animals were hosed down, vacuumed up and groomed all over in preparation for the 4-H Large Animal Round Robin showmanship contest Thursday night at the California Mid-Winter Fair & Fiesta.

Morgan Veysey, 11, uses a blow dryer to remove shavings from the wool
of her lamb, Moonshine, Thursday at the California Mid-Winter Fair
& Fiesta. Veysey said shavings from the bedding in the barn sink stick to the wool.  

The top two overall division winners in the junior and senior categories from last Sunday’s qualifying round competed again to see who was the best in showmanship in the entire Imperial Valley, said Shannon Johnston, one of the livestock assistants at the fair. Contestants had to demonstrate their knowledge and present eight different breeds of animals in front of eight judges including their specialty animal.

“It’s hard to (show) all the breeds,” said Hank Baran, father of Alexandra Baran, whose brown and white American quarter horse, Page Me After Five, helped her place second in last week’s competition. “You never know what the judge is going to ask so these kids have to keep a lot of knowledge fresh in their minds. These kids work really hard at it. Real hard.”

The reason the contest is called Round Robin is because every animal present is shown in both market and showmanship class, Johnston said. The judges score both classes differently. Market class is judged on muscular structure, for the quality and quantity of the meat, while showmanship is judged differently according to the species of the animal. Not every animal is raised by the competitor but every animal is shown, whether the animal does or does not belong to the child, Johnston said.

The contestants that do not advance to the Round Robin put just as much work in as the ribbon winners, Baran said. “It’s fun to see them all nervous before the show but once they get into it they have a lot of fun. That’s what 4-H is all about,” Baran said.

Another competitor from the M&M 4-H Club of Brawley, Preston Hutchinson, said, “The older I get the more attached I get to (my animals).”

Preston, 16, who started training and raising his own animals at age 9, won the designation of Supreme Champion in the Market Steer category with his 18-month old, 1,330-pound steer, Marvin.

On the other side of the livestock area, Morgan Veysey, 11, was cleaning her lamb, Moonshine, a gray and black Hampshire cross, in preparation for the event.

“Lambs are one of the easiest to (present) in large animals,” Morgan said.

“You can put two hands on the animal. If they move, you can just move them with your hand,” Morgan said, as Moonshine had a small misstep and almost fell off of the stand where she was being groomed.

Preston, Morgan’s M&M teammate, was nearby to help the lamb get back up.

“My lamb gets hyper when it gets windy, so he’s a little freaked out right now,” Morgan said.

Article Reprinted Courtesy of Imperial Valley Press