2011 Refugio Livestock Show ends for some, begins for others
March 26, 2011 at 10:03 p.m.
Updated March 25, 2011 at 10:26 p.m.
REFUGIO - Peyton Levien sweeps her hair behind her ear and continues lunging forward with full force.
Trailing relentlessly behind the fifth-grader is Okie, a 1,275 steer - her first ever reserve grand champion steer that she auctioned on Saturday at the Refugio Livestock Show.
The steer stands taller and obviously larger than Peyton.
"I just like showing steers and heffers," Peyton said after finally tieing her steer up to a post.
This is Peyton's third year showing animals at the Refugio Livestock Show, but for others, it's their last.
But for Taylor, Shelby and Quentin Bellows, triplets, this is their last showing year.
"It's a sigh of relief," Quentin, a senior at Refugio High School, said jokingly.
Quentin and Taylor began showing animals in seventh grade. Their sister, Shelby, had been showing since sixth grade.
"It's a lot of work," Taylor said. "I'm definitely going to miss it."
This year, Shelby won grand champion for her lamb and breed champion for another lamb.
Quentin won reserve breed champion for his lamb and Taylor showed a goat.
Taylor offered some advice for those just starting out showing their livestock.
"Just do your best," she said. "There's always next year."
Even though already in her third year, Peyton still has a long way to go until she becomes a senior and she shows no sign of slowing down.
Her first year she showed a pig and last year, and this year, she showed steer.
She wants to continue on that track, she said.
The hard part, she said, is having to let go of the animal after raising it for almost a year.
Her mother, Mary Levien, snapped a couple of photos as Peyton arched her head up and kissed Okie on the lips.
This love for steers goes back three generations, her mother said.
Her mother showed steers in Victoria when she was younger and her grandfather, Robert J. Hagel, won the grand champion steer the first year the livestock show was held in Victoria.
"They've got to want to do it," Peyton's mother said.
"And I want to do it," Peyton shot back.