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I’m no career showperson, but there’s a few out there. I have the highest regard for the folks who work so hard to do show cattle. In today’s angle, I reflect on the idea that most cattlemen have about show cattle also known as Show Sh**.

Years ago, cattle shown were seemingly selected for extremes.

When we look at show cattle on the internet, those black and white photos from the early 1900’s were super thick, short legged animals in straw clean up to their bellies. They were short, and very efficient. They had short, blocky faces, with thick short noses. If you saw an udder on a female, it was small, and level with moderate size teats, and non pendulous bottle like quarters. They simply looked different. In the 70’s the cattle in show photos changed. They had long legs, were leaner, and had a totally different look than those short porky cattle of days gone by.

Beef cow from 1900’s

What changed? A calf was no longer evaluated for efficiency, but growth ability. the balance was lost.

Today’s producers are now leaning back toward a more balanced animal that is efficient, and is thicker, like those of the early 1900’s. It’s easily seen when looking at show winners at the big stock show.

How does this affect us? Well, even though we aren’t in the show cattle business, the image in the show cattle world does reflect the judge’s view in the industry.

2000’s beef bull.

In Fall 2018, Hailey and I attended our breed national championship show. We have cattle that look considerably different than some of the other cattle at the show. Our vision isn’t exactly like other breeders. And that’s ok! You decide what you like, it’s always fun to attend a show and pick your favorite, even if it’s different than what the judge says.

Christina and calf Suria, 2018 BWCAA Open Supreme Champion female.
Suria at 7 months old. in her natural hair, no show feed.

While Suria’s show photo is of her at 5 months old, She was never show fed, nor show fitted. (we trimmed her hair a little), The judge had his opinion. Would you want a heifer like her in your herd?