The night it all began was awesome! I have always heard from my dad and uncles who all scrambled and caught in Houston that it was a great experience. The meeting/ muster area where the contestants gathered before the scramble was so much fun! I was selected by the scramble posse although somewhat reluctantly to hold hands with a fellow girl scrambler to be pronounced as the scramblers for the evening. The moment I put that halter on the calf and drug it into the square was one of the best feelings I could’ve possibly imagined. Afterwards I got to meet my sponsors and my greeter and share with them a little bit about myself and it was so cool to see how excited they were to meet with me! Their encouragement towards me and my interests was most definitely appreciated. I really do love to show steers, and have been exhibiting steers ever since I was only nine years old. Therefore even before I had scrambled I knew that I wanted a steer as my scramble project. The hunt had begun for the perfect exotic steer. Since I usually only exhibit exotic steers I knew exactly what I was looking for. I had started my journey looking for a Maine Anjou steer and preferably a red and white one at that. I just so happened to be lucky enough to come across the exact kind of steer that I had been looking for. My luck led me to the steer of my imaginations and was in a holding pen at Brian Martin’s sale. The trip was a success and I soon found myself loading a red and white Maine steer onto our trailer. After a long journey home the steer was safely back at our barn. My little brother and I both show steers and usually name our steers after certain themes that we choose. This year we decided to go with the show Tom and Jerry with my brother naming his steer Tom and me naming mine Jerry. We both happen to love this cartoon so these names were rather easy to select. Jerry was not the most even tempered steer and from day one seemed to have a deep hate for my dad. The real work started once we got Jerry into the barn. Jerry had a bit of an attitude as I just mentioned and needed some work. Jerry has only ever liked me and has been weary of everybody else since I got him. I had to use certain tricks in the barn to help calm Jerry’s nervous attitude. We hung up lights, feed sacks, and flags in front of fans to help break him of his weariness towards objects moving around him. I spent many hours in my barn with Jerry, washing, drying, and setting him up. The bonding we shared was intense, walking Jerry and getting him to set up correctly took some time to learn but was a major accomplishment we achieved. We began taking Jerry to prospect shows to get him used to being in a barn around other people and other cattle. Jerry’s first ever show was in Gonzales at the Lone Star Classic prospect show. Jerry was so nervous his fist time at a show that he didn’t want to get in the ring. I mean he really didn’t want to get in the ring as in he would not get out of the trailer. After working with Jerry more he had finally calmed down enough to go to another show. Jerry was brought back to the Lone Star Classic the next month and it went amazing. The hard work I had been putting in was finally starting to show itself. Jerry was amazing! The next show I went to was the Y'all Come Back Classic. This prospect show was a great boost of morale for me and Jerry both. Jerry had won Breed Champion of the Maine Anjou breed! I was so proud that all of our hard work had paid off! Jerry had won me a banner and a buckle at the Y'all Come Back prospect show, which is a very competitive show. The next and final prospect show I went to was the Houston Calf Scramble Progress Show in Brenham, Texas. At this show Jerry and I did awesome! Jerry got Reserve of the middleweight division of steers winning me my second buckle with him. This show was a great learning experience for Jerry as it taught him how to ride in a trailer for long periods of time. I also learned a lot about Jerry and how he reacts when around a lot of cattle. I also learned about how he would react when he was in a larger arena. All together the string of prospect shows that I took Jerry to, helped him get an idea of what it was really like to be a show steer. Our first major show was the Wilson County Junior Livestock Show at the end of January. Jerry happened to be placed in the most competitive class of exotic steers of the whole show. We ended up in fourth place. Jerry and I can’t wait to come to Houston and exhibit all that we have learned as a team this year. My scramble project has taught me lots of lessons. I have not only grown as an exhibitor but also as a cattleman who understands the difficulty of working with an animal who had a very challenging temperament. The skill of time management has probably been the number one thing that has been the most challenging for me even more so than Jerry’s spicy attitude. I am a very involved student with academics, athletics, FFA and community outreach programs. This scramble project has taught me that there are many lessons to be learned and that no matter how much I think I know there is always more to learn. I will take these lessons with me as I go down the cattle trail of life.
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