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Posts Tagged ‘Grimes County Fair’

2014 County Fair

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Another very busy Grimes County Fair and Rodeo has come and gone. It was filled with a bustling week of activity in the heat of early June. My kids worked hard, and their hardwork paid off. Below are the highlights of the week in photographs. Between competing in creative arts, goat show, swine show, pee-wee show, and mutton bustin’, we were spending 12-14 hour days at the fairgrounds. The latter activity is the only one not shown in pictures below. I will have to do that event separately at another time.

In-County Champion

In-County Champion

Jake is an experienced livestock judge and has competed at various contests. This was the highest he has ever placed. 1st as an individual in the Junior Division, which qualified him as the In-County Champion. We were thrilled. Kyla also competed. It was only her second time to livestock judge at a competition. She had to compete in the Senior Division. Regardless her score was great even though she did not place. We are so proud of both of them.

Kyla showing her market goat project. The judge had just passed her.

Kyla showing her market goat project. The judge had just passed her.

Kyla’s market goat died an accidental death a month after it was officially tagged in with the fair; therefore, she was done. However, my sweet Jake gave her his goat project to raise since he had a swine project, too. Since we tagged everything in as a family, it all worked out. Kyla worked her butt off turning this goat into a meat wagon. The judge liked him, she placed well, and made a good profit at the Premium Sale.

Jake showing his market swine project, Susie.

Jake showing his market swine project, Susie.

Without a goat to raise, Jake turned all of his attention to his market swine project. She was easy to raise and gained weight well. We were very hopeful as we counted the days to the fair. While transporting her in a trailer to weigh her, Susie somehow injured her back left leg. She limped bad, which is one of the things judges look for to rule out your pig. Jake did not place bad considering her injury. The judge told him that she was a great pig, but because she was crippled he could not place her any higher. We completely understood and were thrilled that he qualified for the Freezer Sale where he was able to get top dollar.

Isaac showing off RJ's chest after his show.

Isaac showing off RJ’s chest after his show.

Andrew making his pig strut her stuff.

Andrew making his pig strut her stuff.

Both Isaac and Andrew competed in the Pee-Wee Shows for pigs and goats. They did great and we can really see the benefits of having experienced, older siblings. They are already so much further along in showmanship than any of my older kids were at their ages.

Kyla's Grand Champion Art Work in the Senior Division.  It is a mixed media painting with marker and pencil.

Kyla’s Grand Champion Art Work in the Senior Division. It is a mixed media painting with marker and pencil.

Isaac's Grand Champion Art Pee-Wee Division.

Isaac’s Grand Champion Art Pee-Wee Division.

Both Kyla and Isaac brought home Grand Champion rosettes for their artwork. It was just one of the many surprises of the week.

Needless to say, we had an eventful and successful week at the 2014 Grimes County Fair. Regardless if it was judging, showing, or creating, all the activities require hours of hard work and training. Nothing just happened. The county fair in the heat, humidity, and dust might not sound appealing to many of you, but the life lessons and opportunities make it all worth while. Last week was truly a snapshot of life filled with challenges, surprises, losses, and victories. We survived and are stronger for it.

They are already thinking about and planning for next year. So look out the 2015 Grimes County Fair, we will be back.

Real Cowboy Work

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Jake on the right riding Jack in the middle of the competition.

Jake on the right riding Jack in the middle of the competition.

At the 2013 Grimes County Fair, Jake DeHaven competed with two friends in team penning and team sorting events. Unlike speed events like barrel racing, these events are a test of true working cowboy skills on horseback. In fact, the event was created to enable cowboys to showcase their horsemanship skills. Because one of the boys on the team is sixteen years old, they had to compete in the senior division.

In team penning, the contestants are given a number announced over the loudspeaker as the time begins. The number corresponds to three calves in a herd of thirty. They are to sort the three calves out and pen them in a small pen at the opposite end of the arena. The fastest time wins. Deductions are made if any other calves cross the sorting line. It is harder to do than to describe in writing.

In team sorting, the contestants are also given a number as the time begins. It is similar to team penning, as they have to cut the calf with the said number out. Then they have to go in numerical order and cut out the remaining cattle. For example, if the judge called #5. Then they would remove #5 and then 1,2,3, and 4 in order. The fastest time wins with deductions given for mistakes in the order.

This was Jake’s first time to compete in either event. It was a joy to see him out there giving it his best effort. There are so many factors in a successful run. The cowboy has to be focused and paying attention. He/she has to have a reliable horse with cow sense. Together they make up one team. Then add two more riders and their horses and the teamwork needed increases.

We are proud of Jake and the other members of his team. They brought home the 3rd place prize in the Senior Division for both events. Regardless of the prize, they gained valuable experience that can only translate into better horsemanship skills on the ranch. At home or in the arena, Jake can do real cowboy work.

Hit of the Rodeo

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

As most of you know, my children are members of the Grimes County Jr. Deputy Sheriff’s Mounted Posse. This past weekend they capped off their year of appearances, parades, and rides by performing as the pre-rodeo entertainment of the Grimes County Fair Rodeo.

My youngest two boys, Isaac and Andrew, want to be full-blown members of the Posse so bad. They can ride, but they are not ready to navigate the arena with other horses in a pattern at a lope with a large crowd watching on one side. Added to that, there are rodeo horses and bulls waiting impatiently in shoots on the other side of the arena. Not exactly ideal circumstances for my six and five year old boys.

Knowing this the coordinator of the Posse, Shalla Roesler, and the Drillmaster, Emily Hibner, decided to include the boys at the beginning of the performance. Isaac rode Ladd, my dad’s 34 year old retired cow horse, with another young child, Peyton Ojeda, sandwiched between Andrew in the back. After they were introduced to the audience and waved, Isaac kicked Ladd into a trot and left the arena.

Peyton and Andrew were in the back on a tandem saddle that is not attached very securely. It just attaches at the front. As Ladd trotted, the two boys in the back were being bounced high with every step. The sheer cuteness of the uniformed boys bouncing high in the saddle thrilled the audience. The Sheriff has received countless requests for a photograph of our three mascots.

Sadly, I don’t have one myself. However, I am hoping that the professional photographer got some good shots of them. Tonight at the Premium Sale, she will have them for sale. I just need to get there soon enough to insure that I get a copy before they sell out.

If I get one, I will post it on this article. If not, you’ll just have to use your imagination. For me and my family, the memory of the boys playing their part in the Posse performance was priceless. Even though the Posse performed well both Saturday and Sunday night, the boys were the hit of the rodeo.

Grimes County Fair Results

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

We survived the week-long events at the Grimes County Fair. From performing a routine on horseback before the rodeo twice to the Premium Sale on Thursday night, my children, Jake and Kyla DeHaven, were working hard and having fun. In the near future, I will post their pre-rodeo performance with the Grimes County Jr. Deputy Sheriff’s Mounted Posse. All I will say now is that it was a good, clean performance. We were really proud of all the kids.

I recently read an article that stated that the demand for goat meat has skyrocketed due to the influx of immigrants in the Houston area. Sale barn prices for goats have also increased noticeably. Knowing these facts did not prepare me for the number of goat projects at the fair. I have never seen so many goats at the fair. There were seven classes of market goats with 16-18 goats in each class. That might not sound like very many for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, but it is for our county fair.

Jake and Kyla both raised and showed a market goat project. Jake placed 3rd in his class, and Kyla placed 8th in her class. Kyla chose to sell her goat at the Freezer Sale, which allowed her to make a profit on her market projects. Jake’s goat is here at the ranch. We are taking it to the processing plant tomorrow. We are going to have some cabrito.

Kyla and Jake also raised market swine projects, which have always been popular at the county fair. Kyla raised a Hampshire pig and Jake raised a Duroc. Hampshires are black with a white belt around their shoulders. They remind one of an oreo. Durocs are a pretty dark red color all over.

Regardless of how hard we tried, Kyla’s pig gained weight really slowly. Market swine at our fair have to weigh between 230-275 to qualify. As her Hamp walked across the scales, it fell below the mark by 6 pounds. So it got disqualified and is in our backyard for the moment. Before her disqualification, she received 11th place on her pig.

Eating on the exact same feed regimen, Jake’s pig weighed 270. Not being an expert in swine, I have to wonder if the weight difference was due in part to metabolism. His pig laid around all the time. Her pig thought it was a dog and ran around the yard playing. It rolled over so you could scratch its tummy. It even made a sound like a bark.

Jake’s hog placed 2nd in his class. We were so excited for him. He sold it in the Premium Sale and did better than we even hoped he would.

Our family’s business is grass fed beef. We enjoy raising market animals for the public. My husband and I are excited that our children are not only learning about cattle and the grass fed beef business, but they are learning how to raise other market animals. We are hardly experts in goats or swine, but we are learning. You have to start somewhere and I am thankful that county fairs remain in our society, which encourage agricultural pursuits.

Grimes County Fair Results

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Family is one of the most important things in this world to Cross Creek Cattle Company.  We are a family-owned and operated ranch located in Grimes County.  My children are active in the community as we represent ourselves as well as our ranch.  This past week has been an extraordinarily busy one as the 59th Annual Grimes County Fair consumed most of our time and attention. 

Saturday, June 4th, Jake DeHaven showed his Beefmaster heifer at the fair.  This was her last show and she went out with a bang.  Together Jake and Sugar won Reserve Champion Beefmaster.  Needless to say, Jake was thrilled and excited and we were so proud of him. 

We have retired Sugar from the show ring.   Jake already has his eye on his next beef heifer project for 4-H.  He will begin the process of halter-breaking soon.

Jake’s success with his show heifer has inspired my daughter, Kyla, to also want to do a beef heifer project next year.  Isaac and Andrew, my youngest boys, were able to show Sugar in the Pee Wee Beef Heifer Show.  They had so much fun in the show ring with her.  The show sticks were twice their size, but they worked hard to handle them correctly.  They cannot wait until they are old enough to be in 4-H and show heifers, too.

Kyla was busy with her own animal projects.  She won 5th place with the goat, which qualified her for the Premium Sale.  The most impressive part of the day was when she won a belt buckle for Junior Showmanship.  She wears it proudly. 

Both Kyla and Jake had swine projects.  They did not do as well as they would have liked; however, they learned a lot about raising pigs.  Despite the fact that they did not place high, Kyla was called back for Showmanship.  This was a great honor because most were not.

In Creative Arts, Jake won Grand Champion for his watercolor of one of our dairy goats.  He also got Reserve Champion for a crocheted dishcloth, which he sold at the silent auction.  Kyla won Grand Champion for embroidering her little brother’s name on a homemade blanket.  Their other projects including jewelry design, photography, etc. received blue ribbons.

Isaac and Andrew competed in a Kids Rodeo.  The events were stickhorse racing, dummy roping, and a boot scramble.  Isaac won 1st place in dummy roping.  He spends time outside practicing with Jake and the practice paid off.  He won a brand-new pale green lariat.  I have never seen a child more proud of a lariat before. 

All in all we had a very good year at the Grimes County Fair.  Our family and ranch was well-represented.  I speak for all of us when I say that we are so proud of Kyla, Jake, Isaac, and Andrew.  They worked hard, learned a lot, and it shows.

Jake’s Heifer Show Results

Thursday, June 17th, 2010
Ready and waiting for their turn in the ring.

Ready and waiting for their turn in the ring.

On Saturday, June 5th, Jake represented Cross Creek Cattle Company at the Grimes County Fair.  He raised, halter broke, and practiced with the fifteen month old heifer as his 4-H Beef Project.  This is his first year as an official 4-H member; therefore, this project was also his first animal project.

On our ranch and family farm, we raise animals from rabbits and chickens to cows and horses with other species in between.  Raising an animal for the show is an entirely different experience.  This is especially true when comparing grass fed beef to show beef.  To be competitive, show animals need grain in order to fatten them up.  Judges look for good conditioning, which in my mind means fat.  Needless to say, this heifer was taken out of our grass fed program.

We learned a lot this year.  With the help of our county extension agent, Jake fed his heifer as directed.  She began really putting on the weight.  She got her hooves trimmed and her hair clipped.  She also received several baths.  A fan blew on her during the heat of the day.  The heifer was the most pampered animal on our ranch.

The last two weeks before the show, Jake really began working on his showmanship.  Different family members would pretend to be the judge.  We would ask him to do a variety of things with his heifer.  When he set her up, we would walk around her, touch her, and speak to Jake.  This was very good practice for what was to come on the 5th.

Jake in the show ring with Sugar.

Jake in the show ring with Sugar.

Jake arrived at the Grimes County Fairgrounds excited and ready to participate in his first heifer show.  He had the heifer, who he named Sugar, looking show ready and beautiful.  He was all dressed up, too.  Jake was very smart in that he watched a few of the first classes before his class to get a better idea of what the judge would have him do in the ring.  He watched some experienced showman and got some good ideas.

When it was Sugar’s class, Jake was ready.  He walked in the ring with such great confidence.  He looked like he was an experienced showman.  He followed the judge’s requests.  And, he set Sugar up beautifully for the judge.

The judge said as he was giving his reasons for placing the class, “The more that you look at this heifer (Sugar), the more that you like her.”  He also called her “refined and feminine.”  These are all desirable qualities for a heifer in any breed.

Jake and Sugar won the class.  He received a $25.00 gift certificate from Producer’s Co-op in Bryan, Texas.  Jake was excited that he won and we were so proud of Jake.  His hard work paid off.

Now the show bug has bitten him.  He is looking for more shows in which to participate.  I will let you know how he does in his future shows.  His goal right now is to enter the Houston Livestock Show next year.  Wherever Jake shows Sugar or any other heifer, he will make Cross Creek Cattle Company proud.

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