2013 Victoria Livestock Show kicks off

Feb. 28, 2013 at 6:05 p.m.
Updated Feb. 27, 2013 at 8:28 p.m.

Queen Victoria McKenna Zacek cuts the ceremonial ribbon during the grand opening ceremony at the Victoria Livestock Show.

Queen Victoria McKenna Zacek cuts the ceremonial ribbon during the grand opening ceremony at the Victoria Livestock Show.

While some kids prepared for the day's competitions and others organized animal pens, Cole Payne eyed his prey.

The 12-year-old took a few calculated twirls before a flick of the wrist landed his rope around Caleb Reinecke's ankle. A quick tug, and 8-year-old Caleb was on the ground, laughing.

The 2013 Victoria Livestock Show got its start Thursday, bringing participants, their families and four-legged friends together to compete for the win - and fill their time in between events.

Jonathan Marek was part of the day's first event, the market rabbit contest, which began at 8:30 a.m. Chilly conditions aside, he said he was pleased with the competition, which earned him 17th place overall and first place in junior showmanship.

It isn't over yet, however. He said he and his brothers, Jared and Jason Marek, will remain at the community center virtually the entire weekend.

His advice to other participants? Work hard.

"Practice makes perfect," the 14-year-old said.

John Pozzi, the show's general chairman who has been involved in the annual event about 40 years, said he was proud to see things running smoothly Thursday.

"So far, it's been really good," he said, standing outside Jaycee Hall. "We've had a lot of people here, and the weather's cooperated. All the animals love cool weather."

Pozzi said he expected several thousand people to make their way to the show through the coming days. The main goal is to help prepare Crossroads youth for their futures.

Most participants use their earnings to pay for college, he explained.

Competition might have been the name of the game as judging took place for rabbits, broilers, carcass animals and hogs, but attendees also found time for some fun.

During the noon opening ceremony, committee member Jennifer Rayburn joked that, while the show benefits the community, involvement is a "drug" problem. Participants all got their start when their parents drug them to the show, she said with a chuckle.

Terry Vearrier and his wife, Sherri Vearrier, manned the Wild West Soda booth just outside the arena. There, decked out in old-time garb, they served drinks from a covered wagon while banjo music played in the background. A "rattacoonurtle," a cross between a rattlesnake, raccoon and turtle, sat near the counter.

"We enjoy what we do and we do what we enjoy," said Terry Vearrier, a first-timer at the Victoria show. "It's like they say. If you do what you love, you never work a day in your life."

As for Cole, he encouraged others to get creative in between stock show events. Not only did he get some roping practice in but he and his friends also took time to toss around the football and explore the arena.

"Find a friend and think of something fun to do," he said with a shrug. "It helps."



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