Juniors Steer Way to Champion Status in 2011 NWSS | TheFencePost.com

Juniors Steer Way to Champion Status in 2011 NWSS

Brock May from Wisconsin was all smiles with his crossbred steer "Ricky Bobby" after earning the Grand Champion award in the junior competition. Ricky Bobby later sold at auction for $50,000.

There may be sell-out crowds raising the roof at ticketed performances throughout the National Western Stock Show (NWSS) in Denver, Colo., but the real jewels of the historic venue are the Junior Market Beef and Junior Prospect Steer shows held in its venerable stadium arena every year. The 105-year tradition of the NWSS wouldn’t have made it far if not for the attached stockyards and the meat packers who supported the event in its formative years. Since those early supporters centered around the beef industry, it’s no surprise choosing Grand Champion cattle throughout the stock show’s annual run is a big deal.

What makes the junior division such a treasure, however, is the emotional impact displayed when a teenager earns the honor of winning NWSS Junior Grand Champion Market Steer or Junior Grand Champion Prospect Steer. 2011 was no different, especially for 17-year-old Brock May of Wisconsin. May brought “Ricky Bobby,” a 1,315-pound crossbred steer, to compete at the NWSS and picked up the prestigious Junior Grand Champion Market Steer in the process. From the big smile on his face after the judge picked him out for the award, it looked like a moment he may never forget.

“It’s an honor and it’s really exciting,” said a soft-spoken May immediately following his win.

Asked his thoughts on his steer’s chances coming into the show, he offered a humble response.

“I definitely had hopes,” May said about Ricky Bobby’s odds for a win in Denver. “But I wasn’t sure if I had the quality enough or not and everything worked out. I’m very excited.”

His mother on the side might have been just as excited.

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“It’s awesome,” said Jodie May with an unending grin. “When you come (to the NWSS) it is the best of the best. It is good competition and you just never know how things are going to turn out.”

Junior Reserve Grand Champion Market Steer winner, Kaiti Robinson (from Conroe, Texas), was also thrilled.

“I was really excited,” she enthused while answering questions back at her steer’s pen inside the livestock building. “I won San Antonio in Texas when I was 14, (so) it was really neat to be able to do it again. It’s kind of a chance in a lifetime.”

The personable Robinson originally placed second in her class to May and, since May was chosen Grand Champion, Robinson and her 1,317 pound steer “Black Betty” were able to reenter the main ring to compete for Reserve honors. It was a stress inducing moment, but in a good way.

“I was really nervous,” Robinson admitted with a laugh. “Brock and I are good friends, so I was really hoping he would win; not only for myself, but for him as well. I was really happy that Brock won. (Now) we get to go to and take the steers to the Brown Palace. I’m really excited.”

While the Junior Grand Champion Market Steers received plenty of NWSS spotlight, another show a few days later drew its own big crowd. It was the Open Prospect Show Steers and hundreds of young men and ladies from as far away as Ohio and California brought their animals to compete for the top spot. When it was all said and done, however, a local teen from Longmont, Colo., made a dream come true with a Grand Champion title.

“That’s the best thing I’ve ever won,” said 16-year-old Emma Vickland, attempting to answer questions through waves of emotion. “This is our favorite show and it’s in our back yard. My sister won this one year and I just thought, man this would be cool if I could win that,” she offered as tears streamed both cheeks.

Asked regarding her plans for “Dave,” the 9-month-old steer weighing in around 800 pounds and standing at her side, Vickland managed an answer.

“He gets worked with all the way until he’s a big fat steer and then he gets shown in big shows,” she said with a smile.

Winning the big shows at the NWSS brought “Ricky Bobby” and “Black Betty” into the auction ring, where they respectively earned $50,000 and $33,000 in the high-profile Denver event. Better than that, they created memories to last a lifetime for Brock May and Kaiti Robinson; something Emma Vickland and “Dave” accomplished, as well.

“Just try your hardest no matter what,” said Vickland about her experience inside the show ring. “No matter how you think you’re going to do, never give up.”

There may be sell-out crowds raising the roof at ticketed performances throughout the National Western Stock Show (NWSS) in Denver, Colo., but the real jewels of the historic venue are the Junior Market Beef and Junior Prospect Steer shows held in its venerable stadium arena every year. The 105-year tradition of the NWSS wouldn’t have made it far if not for the attached stockyards and the meat packers who supported the event in its formative years. Since those early supporters centered around the beef industry, it’s no surprise choosing Grand Champion cattle throughout the stock show’s annual run is a big deal.

What makes the junior division such a treasure, however, is the emotional impact displayed when a teenager earns the honor of winning NWSS Junior Grand Champion Market Steer or Junior Grand Champion Prospect Steer. 2011 was no different, especially for 17-year-old Brock May of Wisconsin. May brought “Ricky Bobby,” a 1,315-pound crossbred steer, to compete at the NWSS and picked up the prestigious Junior Grand Champion Market Steer in the process. From the big smile on his face after the judge picked him out for the award, it looked like a moment he may never forget.

“It’s an honor and it’s really exciting,” said a soft-spoken May immediately following his win.

Asked his thoughts on his steer’s chances coming into the show, he offered a humble response.

“I definitely had hopes,” May said about Ricky Bobby’s odds for a win in Denver. “But I wasn’t sure if I had the quality enough or not and everything worked out. I’m very excited.”

His mother on the side might have been just as excited.

“It’s awesome,” said Jodie May with an unending grin. “When you come (to the NWSS) it is the best of the best. It is good competition and you just never know how things are going to turn out.”

Junior Reserve Grand Champion Market Steer winner, Kaiti Robinson (from Conroe, Texas), was also thrilled.

“I was really excited,” she enthused while answering questions back at her steer’s pen inside the livestock building. “I won San Antonio in Texas when I was 14, (so) it was really neat to be able to do it again. It’s kind of a chance in a lifetime.”

The personable Robinson originally placed second in her class to May and, since May was chosen Grand Champion, Robinson and her 1,317 pound steer “Black Betty” were able to reenter the main ring to compete for Reserve honors. It was a stress inducing moment, but in a good way.

“I was really nervous,” Robinson admitted with a laugh. “Brock and I are good friends, so I was really hoping he would win; not only for myself, but for him as well. I was really happy that Brock won. (Now) we get to go to and take the steers to the Brown Palace. I’m really excited.”

While the Junior Grand Champion Market Steers received plenty of NWSS spotlight, another show a few days later drew its own big crowd. It was the Open Prospect Show Steers and hundreds of young men and ladies from as far away as Ohio and California brought their animals to compete for the top spot. When it was all said and done, however, a local teen from Longmont, Colo., made a dream come true with a Grand Champion title.

“That’s the best thing I’ve ever won,” said 16-year-old Emma Vickland, attempting to answer questions through waves of emotion. “This is our favorite show and it’s in our back yard. My sister won this one year and I just thought, man this would be cool if I could win that,” she offered as tears streamed both cheeks.

Asked regarding her plans for “Dave,” the 9-month-old steer weighing in around 800 pounds and standing at her side, Vickland managed an answer.

“He gets worked with all the way until he’s a big fat steer and then he gets shown in big shows,” she said with a smile.

Winning the big shows at the NWSS brought “Ricky Bobby” and “Black Betty” into the auction ring, where they respectively earned $50,000 and $33,000 in the high-profile Denver event. Better than that, they created memories to last a lifetime for Brock May and Kaiti Robinson; something Emma Vickland and “Dave” accomplished, as well.

“Just try your hardest no matter what,” said Vickland about her experience inside the show ring. “No matter how you think you’re going to do, never give up.”