The Victoria Livestock Show had its first Old Timers Livestock Show last year. The popular event has returned with veteran exhibitors, who swap places with students to revisit their childhood show days.
About 60 participating adults will be judged by showmanship winners Friday and Saturday just before the lights go out in the area, said Paige Melton, the Victoria County extension agent for 4-H and youth development.
“I would think everybody that did it last year is going to do it again this year, and then some,” Melton said. “It was a ton of fun, because people that have graduated or parents or grandparents in some cases; it was funny to see the roles reversed because some of the kids were trying to tell the parents what to do in the ring and coach them from the side, and just getting back in the ring with so many animals was hilarious.”
On the opposite end of the experience spectrum, there is also a special Pee Wee Livestock show for children pre-K through second grade who are not yet old enough to show.
“A lot of these kids have older siblings that are showing, and they’re so eager to get in the ring and show their animal,” Melton said. “Last year, we probably had about 20 Pee Wee showmen, and I can only see it growing.”
Colt Rowlands, a kindergartner at Mission Valley Elementary School, will participate in the Pee Week Livestock Show for the first time this year. He said he is excited to show one of his family’s three pigs, though he admits to having first-timer nerves.
During the past few months, Colt said he has helped feed and exercise three pigs at their family home.
“There is one pig out there like a dog,” he said about his favorite pig. “He likes to rub on Dad’s legs.”
Colt said he has gotten advice on showing from his 10-year-old and 11-year-old sisters, who hope to make this year’s livestock sale with their pigs.
He said his sisters advise him to always “keep your eye on your pig,” while his parents remind him to also always “keep your eye on the judge.”
While Colt said he does not know how well he will do, he knows the Pee Wee Livestock show is “good practice.”
Melton said the Pee Wee Livestock Show, for many children, is a form of practice.
“It kind of gives them a pre-show (and) involvement because they already want to do it, and they can’t wait, so it allows them to do something once a year just like their older brothers and sisters,” Melton said.
Registration for the Pee Wee Livestock Show, Old Timer’s Livestock Show and Ultimate Showmanship Livestock Show will remain open online until about 30 minutes before each show begins, Melton added. Exhibitors who register for a chance to win the Ultimate Showmanship buckle have to be in ninth through 12th grades and have to show a set of three animals: a heifer, a steer and a cattle; or a lamb, a goat and a hog.
“The age limits kind of limit some people, and not everybody is comfortable showing all three species,” Melton said. “Last year, we had about a dozen kids participate.”