West student has high hopes for her lamb (Video)

Feb. 23, 2013 at 5 p.m.
Updated Feb. 22, 2013 at 8:23 p.m.

Melody Riley, 17, with her lamb  she plans to show in the Victoria Livestock Show in February.

Melody Riley, 17, with her lamb she plans to show in the Victoria Livestock Show in February.   Kathleen Duncan for The Victoria Advocate

At 17, Melody Riley spends most of her time going to Victoria West High School and working part time at the Double J Eatery in Victoria.

But in her free moments, she likes to hang out with Hoss - a 1-year-old lamb she is raising for the 2013 Victoria County Livestock Show.

"Sometimes he can be just like a little kid," she said, holding the rambunctious lamb by his head and neck, just as she will do for the judges during the contest.

Though she has been competing in the stock show since eighth grade, she said her lambs have never taken home the grand prize.

"Everybody has a grand champion, and I just want to get to that goal and feel like I accomplished something," Melody said.

Which is why she spends hours each week feeding, grooming and training Hoss.

She also tends to the heifers she will enter in the show.

This year, Melody has high hopes for Hoss, who is muscular and not suffering from attention deficit disorder like her past lambs, she said jokingly.

Melody, who plans to become a veterinarian when she finishes school, said raising the animals has taught her about livestock, agriculture and helped her grow up.

"It brings tears to my eyes when you put them through the gate and you wonder what they are thinking about, but everyone has to eat. That is what agriculture is for," Melody said about the livestock auction.



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