Wisconsin steer wins prestigious National Western steer show
DENVER – Brock May said he’s won some market steer shows in the past, but nothing quite compared to the National Western Stock Show.
That changed Thursday afternoon when his 1,315-pound crossbred steer he called Ricky Bobby was named Grand Champion by Jeff Sargent of Denison, Texas. Reserve championship honors went to Kaiti Robinson of Conroe, Texas, with Black Betty, a 1,317-pound steer that was second to May’s steer in the fifth of 10 classes judged by Sargent.
May, 17, of Mineral Point, Wis., said he got his steer at a club calf sale in Stillwater, Okla.
“I’ve been here eight or nine times, but this is the first time I’ve ever won here. It feels pretty good,” May said. When asked what he might do with the proceeds from tonight’s Junior Market Livestock Sale, which starts at 6:30 p.m., he said he planned to further his education at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.
“I haven’t really decided yet, but I’ll probably major in either agriculture business or animal science,” May said.
While he’s won championships at such shows as the Wisconsin State Fair, he said coming to Denver this year was an experience he won’t soon forget.
“I kind of hoped he’d have a chance at winning, but I didn’t really know for sure. I was pretty nervous today,” he said with a big smile on his face.
Sargent told the large crowd in the historic Stadium Arena that he appreciated the invitation to come to Denver to judge the market beef show. He picked champions and reserve champions from 10 classes and four Colorado calves moved to the championship run.
Emma Vickland of Longmont, who belongs to a 4-H Club in Johnstown, had the champion in the eighth division with a 1,380-pound steer, while her brother Grant Vickland had the reserve champion in the ninth class with a 1,450-pound animal. Malaika Frank of Wray and Allie Esch of Longmont also had reserve class champions.
“This is a passion of mine. I’m on the breeding end of the business now, but I grew up showing steers, and I’ve got an 11-year-old who’s getting into showing steers,” Sargent said. He said, being associated with the beef business, he had set certain goals in that career, and one of those goals was getting the opportunity to judge at the National Western.
“The prestige that goes with this show is really something. It’s been here for more than 100 years, and I can’t say enough about the experience I’ve had with these youngsters out here today,” Sargent said, adding that the people who were fortunate enough to be associated with the youngsters who exhibited the animals were in an enviable position.
“I just hope to be able to experience that someday,” he said.
He said he judged the steers, and one class of market heifers, on what “I liked and didn’t like.” He said he favored those animals that had a lot of mass, a lot of muscle but could move easily around the show ring.
“This is a market beef show, so I like to see pretty animals that have got a lot of production in them and still get up and go,” Sargent said.