CANADIAN SHORTHORN ASSOCIATION
What a weekend! Kids, parents and cattle galore invaded the Stratford Agricultural Complex for the weekend of August 3-5, 2018 for the Junior National Shorthorn Show. Packs were made, cattle settled in and junior exhibitors reconnected with old friends and made new ones. There were 55 exhibitors with 90 head of cattle for the show.
Following registration on Friday afternoon, the kids were assigned groups to complete a fun scavenger hunt around the facilities. Each team was asked to “buy something for $0.25” and the organizing committee anticipated that the teams would use their quarter to buy something from the candy machines outside the 2 arenas located in the Complex. Imagine our surprise when some of the teams returned with items they had “purchased” from the adults. A scrub brush and baseball hat were among the purchases. These kids sure had some impressive bartering skills to get these things! The last task for the scavenger hunt was to complete a “Candy Guess” in hopes of winning the candy jar for their age group. After their guesses were submitted, each exhibitor was given a delicious chocolate tractor sucker from a local chocolatier: Rheo Thompson Candies.
We had a delicious lasagna dinner provided by L & M Catering on Friday evening, complete with an ice cream sundae bar.
While members of the show committee was getting things organized for Saturday’s activities, we looked out over the barn and saw groups of people chatting and laughing and even a group of exhibitors line dancing in the aisle behind their animals! This is what the weekend was about: fun, camaraderie and making friends.
Saturday morning brought our opening ceremonies. The exhibitors were paraded into the show ring by a local piper and our Shorthorn Lassie, Emily Kyle. Martin Mason of Red Rose Farm sang our national anthem and Jamie Blenkiron, the President of Ontario Shorthorn Association welcomed the exhibitors.
The morning started with the Showmanship classes. Judge Jamie O’Shea sorted our exhibitors by age group and then a final drive was held to determine the Grand and Reserve Grand Champion Showmen.
After all their hard work in the show ring, we put Katie and Maurice to work in the centre of the ring instead of on the halter. They were given the task of judging the “Over the Hill” Showmanship class. Anyone that was beyond the age to be an exhibitor for the weekend was given an opportunity to enter the class. There were 13 people competing for the red ribbon. It was a sight to be seen! We had an exhibitor with purple hair, sharing cookies in the ring, and another exhibitor that handed his heifer off to a bystander so he could take a seat on the bleachers. Katie and Maurice selected Kevin Dempsey as the top Over the Hill Showman. Kevin was even seen smiling in the ring, and anyone that knows him, knows this is a rarity indeed!
When the peewee exhibitors had finished their showmanship classes, they participated in some activities specifically for them. They did a hands on experiment to learn how human digestion differs from digestion in cattle and why people are unable to receive the same nutritional value from eating hay as cattle do. They also had the opportunity to make lemon volcanos. The peewees had lots of fun!
The afternoon started with a Judging competition. The peewee and junior exhibitors were judging the showmanship of the exhibitors in the ring and the intermediate and senior exhibitors judged the conformation of the breeding heifers being exhibited. Jamie O’Shea gave the official reasons and placings for the conformation portion and Shannon Giffen provided the official reasons and placings for the exhibitors judging showmanship.
Saturday was a day full of activities for all of the exhibitors. We ended the day with a delicious roast beef banquet provided by L & M Catering. Live and silent auctions were held following our dinner and then prizes were awarded for team fitting, both photography classes and for the Candy Guess. Dale Asser, president of the Canadian Shorthorn Association provided the closing remarks for the evening.
All of the conformation classes were held on Sunday. Brad Gilchrist had the challenging job of judging our cattle. Ribbons were presented to all of the exhibitors with banners going to the division champion and reserve champions. Leather halters were presented to each of the 6 exhibitors in the bred & owned division.
The show committee would like to express our heartfelt thanks to all of the exhibitors, their families, our breeders, the volunteers, those who were asked to help and not given a chance to refuse, our judges, our sponsors, the Canadian Shorthorn Association and the Ontario Shorthorn Association. Without all of you, we would never have been able to have such an amazing weekend. Thank you!