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Nebraska Cattlemen’s Classic to celebrate 20 years

Gayle Smith
Gering, Neb.

A new team penning event and a fancy prospect pen of three heifer show and sale will be among the new events highlighting the 20th Anniversary of the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Classic in Kearney, Neb., on February 14-20, 2011.

During the 20th Anniversary of the event, Ronette Bush-Heinrich, manager of the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Classic, said exhibitors, vendors and volunteers who have participated in The Classic consistently over the last 20 years will be recognized for their support of the event. “We also have brand new facilities to commemorate our 20th anniversary,” she proudly added.

The Nebraska Cattlemen’s Classic is a premier livestock event attracting cattlemen and horsemen across the Midwest, as well as throughout the United States, during its seven-day run at the Buffalo County Fairgrounds.

On the schedule for this year’s event, will be a working dog trial and sale, a ranch horse competition and sale and 12 cattle breed shows and sales. Other events include a commercial replacement pen of five heifer sale, team penning and team roping, educational seminars, a commercial trade show, beef and wine tasting, the Royal Ice sale, and youth events.

The Nebraska Cattlemen’s Classic will feature a commercial trade show promoted as the ‘Classic Market Place,’ with over 75 commercial displays featuring everything from trailers, show supplies, and animal nutrition, to clothing, gifts, vehicles, and buildings. “There is truly something at the trade show for everyone,” Bush-Heinrich said. “The commercial displays feature lots of unique shopping opportunities for the guests at the Classic,” she continued. “There will also be many unique pieces that will be brought to Kearney to be sold during the trade show.”

The 20th annual Classic kicks off on Monday, February 14 with the team penning event at 12 noon. The event is open to horses consigned for the Ranch Horse Sale, as well as anyone else who would like to enter. The event has a $70 entry fee per team, with 60 percent of the entry fee going to the competition jackpot. Entries will be taken through the NCC website, or at the event until 11 a.m. on Monday.

A team roping event, which is also new to the Classic this year, will be held at 6 p.m. The team roping event is open only to entries in Tuesday’s Ranch Horse Sale.

On Tuesday, a Ranch Horse Competition will begin at 9:30 a.m., followed by part two of the competition at 2 p.m. The working dog trials will be held from 12-1:30 p.m. A Cattlemen’s Social will start at 5 p.m., followed by The Classic Working Dog and Ranch Horse sale, beginning at 7 p.m.

According to Bush-Heinrich, 28 ranch horses and five working dogs will be sold during The Classic Horse and Working Dog sale. She said a committee selects the horses that will be sold in the sale based on video footage of the horses that is sent in ahead of time. “The committee reviews the footage and determines the horses that will sell during The Classic Horse Sale,” she said. The horses, which all come from Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Wyoming, are all well-broke saddle horses that have been hand-picked by the selection committee.

On Wednesday, February 16, The Classic will host a Nebraska Feedlot and Veterinarian’s Day. Speakers from Purina Mills, Principal Financial, ABS, Lallemand Animal Nutrition, Intervet Schering-Plough and DuPont will present educational seminars. The event is free to all cattlemen and lunch will be provided. “This event is meant to be an educational day for the feedlot workers and veterinarians, as well as the cattlemen,” she said. “It is important to have diverse events at The Classic, so cattlemen can attend and network with other cattlemen.”

Returning to the Classic for a second time is the popular Classic Ladies Night, which will feature a beef and wine tasting event in the Pavilion on Wednesday beginning at 5:30 p.m. According to Bush-Heinrich, the event is designed to get the community involved in the Cattlemen’s Classic. “The Ladies Night is an opportunity for people to shop in the commercial marketplace,” she said. “The beef and wine tasting is an event that is appealing to all different people. It is also a way to promote beef to consumers and people in the community. They can come here and sample the wine, and learn about the different cuts of beef and sample them,” she explained. “Men are welcome to attend the event, too.”

During the remainder of the week, cattle shows and sales will be held for Herefords, Polled Herefords, and Red Angus on Wednesday; Angus, Simmental, and Charolais on Thursday; Limousin, Balancer/Gelbvieh, and Shorthorn/Shorthorn Plus on Friday; and Maine Anjou/Mainetainer and Chimaine/Chiangus on Saturday. The shows will begin each day at 10 a.m., with the sales following at 1 p.m. Bush-Heinrich said cattle numbers are similar to last year, with over 600 head of cattle projected to sell by the end of the week.

A free Cattlemen’s Luncheon will be held at 12 noon on Thursday and Friday in the Ag Pavilion. On Thursday, the luncheon speaker will be Veterinary Parasitologist Dr. Donald Bliss of Mid America Ag Research. A bull session will follow at 4 p.m. with Doug Frank, beef product manager of ABS. During Friday’s noon luncheon, Dave Hunt from Pricipal Financial, Galen Loseke of Lallemand Animal Nutrition, and Randy Lenz of Purina Mills will be the presenters.

New to the Classic this year is the fancy prospect pen of three heifer show and sale, where the heifers will be shown at halter, and judged by a panel of three individuals on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. These heifers will be sold Thursday evening prior to the popular Royal Ice Sale.

“There will be a nice offering of heifers in the prospect pen of three show and sale,” Bush-Heinrich said. “This show is new to The Classic this year, and actually stems from the pen of five heifer show we have each year. We changed the pen of five heifer sale to a commercial man’s sale, and added this show and sale to appeal to the aggressive showman who wants to purchase some show-ready heifers. This show is for breeders who want to bring registered heifers that are show-ring ready.

“We will sell people’s choice for the first two spots in the sale order,” she continued. “There will also be a champion and reserve pen of heifers selected.”

The annual Royal Ice Dinner and Sale will be the biggest ever this year featuring over 40 lots. It will be held following the pen of three heifer sale. Seven flushes, two pregnancies, 34 embryos and three semen lots will be sold during this year’s offering. Bush-Heinrich urges cattlemen to take advantage of the high quality genetics being offered through this sale. “An elite set of genetics will be available from several different breeders,” she explained. “By purchasing the packages offered in this sale, it is a way for cattlemen to get in on the cutting age genetics,” she continued. “Sometimes, the only way they can obtain progeny from elite producers, is by purchasing embryo packages, pregnancies or flushes through a sale like this.”

On Friday’s lineup of events will be the commercial replacement heifer pen of five sale at 7 p.m. “We will have eight pens offered for sale during this event,” Bush-Heinrich said. The producers entering this event will vote on and select the supreme pen. That pen will receive a $500 cash prize. A Cattlemen’s Social will be held at the conclusion of the sale beginning at 9 p.m.

The last weekend of the Classic will be geared toward youth. A livestock judging contest will begin at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday. Also, a youth beef education event featuring “The Latest Trends in the Show World” will begin at 3 p.m. There will be several speakers at the event, and it will be geared toward youth and their 4-H and FFA projects, according to Bush-Heinrich. Several prizes will also be awarded to participants.

The junior livestock show will conclude this year’s Classic on Sunday, February 20, at 8 a.m. Nearly 300 junior exhibitors will show market and breeding cattle, and compete in showmanship events. Ronnette said over 500 head of cattle will be shown during the junior show.

For more information on activities happening at the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Classic, a schedule of events, or sale catalogs, see their website: cattlemens.org.


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