After the conclusion of the CAA Annual Convention, I flew down to Grand Island, Nebraska to look at the National Junior Charolais Show. The competition, sharing the same name as the title of my post, drew 256 competitors from 24 states across the US and 419 head of cattle. I was also told that this is one of the smallest junior breed shows! There was a team fitting competition which was very hotly contested. There were four competitors per team (split into age groups), and they had 20 minutes to fit an animal to go in the show ring. The teams are then judged on presentation of their animal, the methods and equipment used to fit their animal & team work. Before the competition, there was also a fitting demonstration by a professional fitter, which gave the participants the chance to ask any questions and try and fine tune their fitting skills.
The following day, they had a bull, steer and percentage heifer show. These “percentage” heifers are allowed to be shown as long as they have one purebred Charolais parent. Some of the breeds included in these heifers included Pinzgauer, Brahman, Shorthorn, and even Jersey! There was also a showmanship competition (a bit like a paraders competition in Australia) and a purebred heifer show. The purebred show comprised of two sections: bred & owned and owned. Bred & owned where you have to breed and own the heifer yourself, and owned where you just have to own the heifer, regardless of whether the competitor bred her or not. It was good to be able to look at some of the Charolais genetics being used here and compare with those being used at home.