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3rd grader shows grand and reserve champion lambs in Cuero

Sonny Long

By Sonny Long
March 4, 2011 at 10 p.m.
Updated March 3, 2011 at 9:04 p.m.

Aimsley Blank, a third-grader at St. Michael's Catholic School in Cuero, won both grand and reserve champion honors with her market lambs during the 62nd Cuero Livestock Show. It was Aimsley's first livestock show competition.

CUERO - Aimsley Blank's smile told the story.

The St. Michael's School third-grader beamed before, during and after the 62nd annual Cuero Livestock Show auction Friday night and with good reason.

The 8-year-old won grand champion and reserve champion honors with her market lambs, the first time she had ever taken part in a livestock show.

"Nothing is better than seeing her smile," said Aimsley's proud father, Danny Blank. "That's what it's all about. Every ring we went to, every penny I spent this year was worth the look on her face."

Aimsley said she enjoyed working with the sheep.

"I like driving them," she said. "We walk them and push them along to help build up their muscles. I practiced with them a lot, sometimes by myself."

Her father said the diminutive Aimsley worked hard to get three lambs ready for the show.

"Both her sheep that won are 148, 149 pounds," he said. "She's 60 pounds. It takes a lot of work to be able to control one and drive one."

The hard work paid off as the grand champion Pouncer sold for $5,000 and the reserve champion Spit Ear brought $3,000.

Blank said working with lambs is a family affair with wife Tracy Blank chipping in and little brother, Kale, 5, lending a hand every day out in the barn.

"My dad has taught the whole family," Aimsley said. "He taught his brothers and sisters and he taught my sister."

Aimsley's older sister Courtney Nash, now a 23-year-old college student at the University of Texas-San Antonio, was a grand champion exhibitor at the Cuero show in 2006.

"They are like night and day," Tracy Blank said of her two daughters. "Courtney was a 'game-day player' and Aimsley works harder at it. But Courtney was older when she started."

Danny Blank said showing sheep is a family tradition.

"I showed sheep, my brother and sister showed sheep, Courtney showed sheep. We loved doing it and we loving watching Aimsley do it."

The broad smile on her face was evidence that Aimsley loved it, too.



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