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24th Annual Sierra Winter Classic
Annual cattle show a 'family act'
Steers, heifers and kids filled the Porterville Fair grounds on Saturday and Sunday at the 24th annual Sierra Winter Classic, with competitors from all over California vying for prizes.
“It’s going great,” said Nate Laux.
Laux, the grounds chairman of the Sierra Winter Classic, said the show had a total combined head count of over 170 animals, a better turn out than last year. This year’s judges were Johnnie Johnson of Nebraska and James Henderson of Woodlake.
In the showmanship ring, first timer Carson Wallace, 9, of Springville led his black steer Reggie — named after football player Reggie Bush of the Miami Dolphins. One of 17 competitors in the junior showmanship division, he faced tough competition. Cheering him on was his mother Ann Marie Wallace.
“He doesn’t really get nervous. I think he’s kind of in his natural surroundings. He rodeos, so the animal thing is kind of in his blood,” Wallace said.
After placing third Carson was all smiles.
“I was happy to win showmanship because I thought I had a good chance,” he said. Henderson commended Carson’s intensity.
Carson, who participates in barrel racing and dummy roping among other activities, said he decided to start showing steers because of his mother.
“My mom brought me to the fair, and I watched her do it once and I really liked it,” said Carson.
Wallace was very proud of her son.
“He’s so competitive, it’s scary. I love that he did so well,” said Wallace.
On the opposite end of the ring stood Arbuckle resident Bethany Hartill, whose sons Grant, 11, and Drew, 10, were busy in the ring keeping their steers in the correct formation.
“Right when they were both old enough to do 4-H we asked them what kind of animals they wanted to show, and they said steers,” said Hartill. “They’re both competitive about it.”
Hartill said the process of showing the animals teaches many lessons to her sons.
“It’s definitely being independent and mainly responsibility. They get up every morning and feed their animals.”
Over at the barn, 18-year-old Emily Brossard of Mariposa was putting the finishing touches on her steer Brently, a black Angus cross, applying Jet Black and Black Finish to its legs.
“It makes them look bigger boned,” said Brossard.
A recent high school graduate, she was introduced into steer showing by her mother. One of Brossard’s goals was to go to the state fair in Sacramento, but for this show she had one hope.
“I’m hoping to do well in my class, prospect two, which are calves that are heavier than 900 pounds,” said Brossard.
The Sierra Winter Classic is a project of the Porterville Junior Fair Board, which is comprised of a group of FFA and 4-H members ages 14-19 who gain the experience of putting on a show with the help of the adult committee members. It is divided into two categories market and showmanship. According to Laux, in the market category the animal is judged while in showmanship the handler is judged.
Early morning showmanship results included: PeeWee Showmanship (5-8 years old), second place Emily Robertson, Springville; Junior Showmanship (9-12), fourth place Percy Roberts, Visalia, fifth place Christopher Sousa, Tulare; Intermediate Showmanship (13-15), fourth place Sydney Manning, Bakersfield; Senior Category (16-19), Garrett Fein, third place, Bakersfield, and Dylan Kling, fifth place, Hanford.
Contact Emily Shapiro at 784-5000, ext. 1050, or on Twitter @EmilyShapirogar.