American Royal; Angus
American Royal is the first of the three national livestock shows this season. Held in Kansas City, Missouri, the Angus breed had over 150 entries from contestants across the United States. This breed never falls short of quality and you can guarantee cattle companies bring their A game, making for stiff competition at American Royal. Saturday October 31st showmen come ready to roll in Hale Arena. It is something special watching a handler and their stock in the show ring, but it’s what goes on behind the ribbons and the backdrops that make these moments possible.
SCC, Stertzbach Cattle Company is a family owned and operated business producing top notch Angus show heifers. With truck and trailer loaded Tuesday morning SCC made the 12 hour trip from Northern Ohio down to Kansas City, Missouri. Hauling in for set up day Wednesday, October 28th is when all the fun begins; between making tie outs in the lot to setting up the stalls in the barn there is no shortage of work to be done. SCC brought a string of four heifers, each one is washed, blown dry, and clipped everyday to get their hair ready for show day as well as for people to view when walking through the barns. As show day approached check in was required for each animal, the heifers had health papers as well as tattoos checked and cleared to obtain their show order.
Saturday October 31st the alarm went off at 3:30 a.m, it’s show day for the Angus exhibitors at American Royal. First thing on the agenda, baths. Each heifer gets washed and blown dry right away so they are ready for fitting. Feeding is the heifers favorite part of the day and one of the most important. It keeps them content and full all day, and show day is a long one. After they are clean and full its time to fit! fitting is the grooming done on show day to make the show cattle look ready for the ring. The heifer show is split into classes by age of the animals, SCC had one February, one September and two Octobers. There are also two shows, the junior and open show, giving the exhibitors a chance to show their stock under two different judges. After the junior show which is 21 years of age and under SCC took a sixth, two seconds and a reserve division. With open show there is more competition since no age limit is set. The results from the open show were a first, second, third and sixth.
Dillon Stertzbach, the manager of SCC, shared a few words with me after the show. “Our goal is to take care of our animals the best we can, preparation for national shows comes from the work you put in at home. As long as our cattle are healthy and are showmen are happy it’s a successful weekend.”
As the day comes to a close the heifers were taken to tie outs and trailers were pulled up to the barns for the crew to load all the tack from the stalls. As packing up is completed the heifers are then loaded into the trailer and ready to head home. Until next year Kansas City, next stop North American in Louisville, Kentucky on November 11th.
My name is Taylor McCombs, I am a junior at Western Illinois University. I am working towards my bachelors degree, majoring in Agriculture Science and minoring in economics. On campus I am involved in the Hoof N’ Horn club. I attended Black Hawk East two years prior to Western where I completed my associates in Agriculture Business. My family farms corn and soy beans. I grew up showing horses. I graduated from Normal West High School where I was an FFA officer for four years.