Grand champion is more than a title, it’s the title we all shoot for. We all want it, but few work for it. Grand champion to most is a title to earn. The kids that put the time and sweat in to it, know it’s so much more to them. The kids that work for it to prove that they are hardworking, know that they leave with more than a buckle or trophy. They leave with a sense of their hard work meeting greatness.
A grand champion isn’t for the weak of heart. It takes a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. You will go through many trials and tribulations even before you get in the show ring. The people in the audience don’t see the prayers you said before to help you have a great day or the school dances you missed in order to get that extra few hours in practicing. It took a lot to get where you are.
The people in the stands don’t see how nervous you are in the waiting area. They don’t feel how your stomach feels, like it could fly away at any moment. The only people that see your emotions beforehand is the people in the back helping get you to the show ring.
No one hardly gets to see that motivational talks that the parents give their kids that would put any football coach to shame. I’ve seen countless movies where the coach gives this great speech and rials his team to victory. They really need a camera in the waiting area, as a parent has their kid in the corner, with tears and a hug saying, “I’m proud of you, win or lose.”
When you get in the show ring your senses are going crazy. The smells of the show ring, the lights shining down on you, the way the halter feels in your hand, how it doesn’t seem so loud in the show ring, and how you want to taste that victory. You stand in the middle of a show ring, with every eye on you. The only eyes your worried about though, is that of the judges.
It’s all worth it to see that judge come up and shake your hand or slap the back of your steer. The judge gets to see firsthand how that kid he just picked, face lights up. A smile begins stretching from one ear to another. The judge gets to see the emotions of all of the kids in the show ring. Some hide it better than others, but the ones that don’t are just letting their emotions flow.
After it’s all said and done you head to take your picture in front of a back drop. You shake more people’s hands than the President of the United States. You begin the long walk back to your trailer and all of your emotions are finally beginning to sink in.
Your stock show family is surrounding you with lots of hugs, handshakes, and tons of pictures so you won’t ever forget that moment. The pictures will always help you remember, but at the end of showing you still will be able to remember it all without looking at a picture. You can step back in the barn and smell and see everything and begin remembering all of the memories you made.
Some will never get to experience the feelings and emotions, but the ones that do will never forget how it all felt. The stock show life is something easily remembered and hard to forget.
About Breanna Viles is a current college student who is combining her passion for agriculture and love for writing together, which created Raised in a Barn on Facebook. On WordPress her blog is called Raised Right in a Barn is an informational and educational blog that is helping give agriculture a much needed voice. When she isn't blogging she is spending time with her family, boyfriend, or enjoying life on the farm.