Meet Austin. I was matched with Austin to be his photographer at the Bell County youth fair and livestock show. There were two different days that I watched Austin show his animals, which consisted of a steer and a sheep.
The steers were to be led around in a circle around the pin as the judge watched them.
When the showers were directed to come to a halt they would use a showstick to rub the belly of the steer. First the steers legs needed to be lined up. They would use their boots to first make the steers front legs become square then adjust the back legs so they were square to the front. They also had to check that the steers body was not stretched out. They then continued to rub the belly of the steer and adjust the legs as the steer moved.
Unfortunately Austin did not rank at the top. The judge would walk around, look at the steers, then wave a shower away to the back of the pin. As Austin waited for the judge to finish up the show he stood patiently while continuing to please Bruno by rubbing his belly. Bruno seemed to be getting bored as he was slobbering uncontrollably and making loud noises. Austin’s face is priceless as he did not know what was up with Bruno.
It was a fairly quick show for Austin but I stayed just a bit longer to watch the following round. It’s amazing how these young kids can control animals so much bigger than them. This boy right here seemed to be talking in his steers ear during the showing. It must have been some encouraging words because he was the winner.
At this show there where children young and old showing their animals. Can you imagine how much time they spend practicing for this show? Win or lose, I was impressed by how well everyone did at keeping their animals under control.
There was a lot going on during the day. There were pigs, goats and sheep. I waited about five hours until Austin’s showing but I didn’t mind because there was plenty of stuff to keep me entertained. This guy right here was a natural in front of the camera. He told me that he was six years old and he was in first grade. He also questioned why I was taking pictures of other people and that if I wanted to take pictures of him I had to pay him$1000.00 because he wasn’t a model. As his mother called him to leave he jumped off the railing and ran to her side. Soon after I felt a light punch on my leg and looked down to see him waving goodbye. He gave me a good laugh and I’m glad to have met him.
Austin was watching the previous showings before his so I whispered his name and as he turned around this is the face he gave me. I thought it was hilarious and told him I was going to keep it, he said okay.
Finally! It was Austin’s turn to show. There were people on all four sides of the pin watching the show so I had to find a place to squeeze in. I eventually stood on the gate so I wouldn’t get poles in my way. It was difficult trying to balance on a pole and shoot at the same time but I managed. The judge had all the showers enter the pin with their sheep and circle around him. The showers made sure to keep their sheep between them and the judge. They also had the sheep’s head facing the judge as they walked.
The judge would then tell the group to line up. They had to make their sheep’s legs square so they would use their hands to move their feet. Sometimes the sheep would be stubborn and move its leg back to where it was before their shower adjusted it. When the showers are satisfied with the position of their sheep whey would hold its head into their chests and wait to be judge. The judge came down the line and felt the sheep and waved people away if he did not choose them. Austin did not make the cut but he did well in my opinion. Now he has an idea of what to expect from this new judge.
Overall it was a pleasure working with Austin. He was very nice and easy to work with. The livestock show was something totally new to me but it was enjoyable. Now that I know what it’s like and what to expect I wouldn’t mind going back.