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Thrill of competition drives many to beef show

Hillsboro event brings competitors from across Kansas

Staff writer

For many children, athletics are enough to satisfy a desire of competition.

For others, showing animals at livestock shows involves more responsibility than sports.

A total of 90 beef cattle and 45 competitors from all across Kansas flocked to Hillsboro’s fairgrounds Saturday for the Marion County Beef Show, put on by 4-H.

Children ranging anywhere from seven to high school age had their cattle on display for judges to decide which was the best looking.

Parents such as Clint Shorter of Dexter, travel as far as Denver, Louisville, and Kansas City so their children — in his case, son Kale — can show cattle.

“We do about 15 to 20 shows a year,” Shorter said. “We do pretty well on the state level. We usually go to the smaller shows, the state fair. It keeps us busy, and he Kale enjoys it.”

For Ryan and Jennifer Higbie of Williamsburg, nearly two hours east of Hillsboro, Saturday’s earliest event of the year was ideal for getting their 7-year-old daughter, Anah, into showing livestock.

The Higbies are entering their seventh year of 4-H competition, their 13-year-old son Lane having paved the way for 11-year-old Calla and Anah to join in.

“They love it,” Jennifer said. “We can’t keep the girls out of the barn. We’re fortunate enough to home-school, so the kids get the benefit of seeing their heifers for a few hours in the morning every day.

“We try to get most of the smaller shows. This will probably the farthest we’ll go to. But this is to get our youngest some experience.”

For many, such as Tony Borg of El Dorado, who’s been involved in showing cattle, goats, and pigs for 25 years, interest has been passed down from generation to generation.

“My younger sister and I started showing when we were little,” Borg said. “My girls have a lot of fun working with the cows, and it teaches them a lot of responsibility that comes with showing.

“This will be one of three shows we’ll do this year. We got back from one three weeks ago in Sedalia, Missouri, and we’ve got one in Grand Island, Nebraska, coming up, so we travel quite a bit. It keeps the girls busy and out of trouble.”

Goessel’s Emily Meier picked up three reserve champions Saturday for her charolais cattle in Class 1 senior competition.

Competing in Class 2 seniors, Emily’s sister Madeline secured three championships and one reserve, including the champion with Chianinas, edging Emily.

Peabody’s Weston Gaines’ angus heifer was awarded reserve champion in the breeding class.

Last modified April 4, 2018

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