It’s bred in the bone for certain people to show livestock, and it means the world to them to have a place where they can do that. The Comanche County Free Fair provided them one of their few opportunities to do that in this time of pandemic.
Lawton’s Cora Sullivan is now 14 and a freshman at MacArthur High School, but she made her debut in a show ring when she was just a tyke.
“I was 7 or 8 when I started showing. I’ve liked it ever since then. I really fell in love with it. It’s been a lot of fun since I was little, just to show cows and have fun, be myself, do what I love to do,” she said Thursday while waiting for the Comanche County Free Fair’s cattle show to start.
In the early portion of her show career she focused on dairy heifers, but these days she and her younger sister, Abilene, who’s 12, show both dairy and beef cattle. For the dairy portion of the cattle show, Cora brought two Jerseys and Abilene two Holsteins. Each of them displayed one of their dairy projects in the 6 months and under category and the other in the 18 months to milking class. They also have a younger brother named Jentry who shows cattle. Their parents are Josh and Courtney Sullivan.
For the beef cattle portion of the show, Cora brought two Angus of approximately the same ages as her two dairy heifers, while Abilene was exhibiting a Shorthorn Plus and a Shorthorn.
As can be seen from the results, Abilene took home two junior showmanship trophies to Cora’s one for intermediate showmanship. Cora’s Jersey cow was the grand champion dairy heifer, and Abilene’s Holstein cow was the reserve. On the beef cattle side, Cora’s Angus cow won reserve grand honors.
The Sullivan girls have been trying to make as much of the 2020 show season as they could. After the cancellation of Oklahoma Youth Expo last spring, they went to only two, the Angus Nationals in Tulsa and the Fletcher Free Fair last week.
Their show season will wrap up with the Comanche County Fair, the Exposition for the Youth of Oklahoma Sept. 18-20 in Duncan and finally the Tulsa State Fair Sept. 29-Oct. 1.
Cora predicted it will be a hassle in Tulsa this year because the shows have been compressed into three days due to COVID-19, but she’s ready to get her new Angus heifer out and about because it will improve her behavior at shows.
Cora said she enjoys showing beef cattle just as much as she does dairy heifers.
“I enjoy them both. They’re both my babies. They’re both really nice to me. I love them a lot,” she said.
She admits it’s a lot of work getting ready for a show like this.
“We have to work their hair on the beef cattle. The dairy cows, we just try and make sure that their udders stay good, make their udders stay clean and they stay clean,” she said.
She estimates she spends at least 10 hours a week working on her project animals.
“Maybe we’ll get home after school, we’ll finish our homework and go straight to the barns and start working their hair,” she said. “It’s definitely worth it if you do good.”
Thursday afternoon brought a wave of sheep and goats to the Expo Building for a dual-ringed show.
Ashlye Workman, 17, brought three wethers to the sheep show, a Crossbreed, a Shropshire and a Hampshire. She had them cleaned up and ready to go as soon as they stepped into the livestock trailer. Counting the Comanche County Fair, she will have shown them four times so far this year, and she plans on going to EYO in Duncan and the Tulsa State Fair. She is a senior at Eisenhower High School and serves as the Eisenhower vice president on the Lawton FFA Chapter’s officer team.
Ashlye said her parents did not show livestock when they were growing up, but her older sister, Taylor Workman, did. Taylor is a freshman at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater trying to decide on her major.
Ashlye already knows exactly what she wants to do: “I want to be an ag teacher.”
Her role model is her ag teacher, Lindsay Hoerbert.
“I just want to show kids that there’s more to the ag community than what TV shows (portray) or people think, and show that our culture’s more involved in our lives than what everybody thinks,” Ashlye said.
What she likes best about being involved in FFA is that it opened her knowledge to what parts of animals people eat and how each animal works and where they come from. She participates in speech contests and has done multiple agri-science projects. She has also competed with the teams she’s on, such as the floriculture team.
Ashlye said she plans on going to OSU: “That is my dream college.”
Elgin High School sophomore Ethan Flood, 17, brought two doe goats to the fair and is showing them through Elgin FFA.
He chose goats because he likes them and always has, ever since he watched a goat show with his father, Greg Flood, and his grandmother.
Ethan said he likes showing at the county fair “because I get to miss school,” but he’ll be back in class today. On his day off, he spent the afternoon washing his goats, blow-drying and brushing them, and finally taking them into Ring A to be judged.
Judges this year are C.L. McGill of Tuttle on cattle and sheep, and Brandon Anderson of Texas on pigs and goats.
Here, in order of placement, are Thursday’s show results as provided by Comanche County 4-H Educator Sharon Stuckey:
Grand champion dairy heifer: Cora Sullivan, Comanche County 4-H, Jersey
Reserve grand champion dairy heifer: Abilene Sullivan, Comanche County 4-H, Holstein
Junior showmanship: Abilene Sullivan
Intermediate showmanship: Cora Sullivan
Senior showmandship: Lathan Merritt, Sterling FFA
Ayrshire – Class 1: Joel Miller, reserve. Class 2: Joel Miller, breed champion.
Brown Swiss – Class 1: Lathan Merritt. Class 2: Lathan Merritt, reserve. Class 3: Lanie Merritt, breed champion.
Guernsey – Kayta Tate, breed champion.
Holstein – Class 1: Abilene Sullivan, reserve. Class 2: Abilene Sullivan, breed champion.
Jersey – Class 1: Cora Sullivan, reserve. Class 2: Jentry Sullivan. Class 3: Cora Sullivan, breed champion; Jaemey Tate.
Milking Shorthorn – Class 1: Joel Miller, reserve; Joel Miller. Class 2: Jaemey Tate, breed champion; Kayta Tate.
Heifer: Aubrey Chandler
Steer: Aubrey Chandler
Grand champion heifer: Henlea Hasenbeck, Elgin 4-H, Shorthorn Plus
Reserve grand champion heifer: Cora Sullivan, Lawton FFA, Angus.
Angus – Class 1: Beau Buchwald, reserve; Cora Sullivan. Class 2: Brayden Buchwald. Class 3: Jazmyne Denton. Class 4: Cora Sullivan, breed champion.
Chianina – Class 1: Josie Chandler, reserve; Huck Hanza. Class 2: Hank Hanza, breed champion. Class 3: Dalton McNally. Class 4: Cade Covington.
Maintainer – Kasey Tate, breed champion.
Red Angus – Class 1: Raygan Krey, reserve. Class 2: Mason Krey, breed champion.
Shorthorn – Abilene Sullivan.
Shorthorn Plus – Class 1: Henlea Hasenbeck, breed champion. Class 2: Gavin Hollars. Class 3: Abilene Sullivan, reserve.
Simmental – Class 1: Colton Stenger, reserve. Class 2: Colton Stenger, breed champion.
Simmental Influence – Brayden Buchwald, breed champion; Riley Weaver, reserve.
Commercial – Class 1: Jentry Sullivan. Class 2: Hunter McDaniel, reserve. Class 3: Cooper Cottrell, breed champion; CJ McNally.
Grand champion prospect steer: Taylor Glover, Elgin 4-H, Maine-Anjou
Reserve grand champion prospect steer: Tommy Glover, Elgin FFA, Crossbreed
Angus – Holden Taliaferro
Charolais – Kasey Tate
Chianina – Kayta Tate
Limousin – Ryder Owens
Maine-Anjou – Taylor Glover
Simmental – Shawn Hilliary
Crossbreed – Class 2; Keytam Kern, reserve. Class 3: Tommy Glover, breed champion.
Grand champion market steer: Kylee Dodd, Cache FFA, Charolais
Reserve grand champion market steer: Shawn Hilliary, Elgin FFA, Crossbreed
Junior showmanship: Abilene Sullivan
Intermediate showmanship: Henlea Hasenbeck
Senior showmanship: CJ McNally, Chattanooga FFA
Does, Division I — Class 1: Kallie DeIorio, Ethan Flood, Kynslie DeIorio, Hunter McElhaney, Raygan Krey. Class 2: Sierra Spencer, Trapper McElhaney, Ethan Flood, Merideth Hawkins. Class 3: Gage McElhaney, Sierra Spencer.
Division I champion: Gage McElhaney, Elgin FFA
Division I reserve champion: Sierra Spencer, Elgin FFA
Does, Division II — Class 4: Gage McElhaney, Natalie Reed, Casey Byrd. Class 5: Kallie DeIorio, Gage McElhaney, Sierra Spencer, Natalie Reed.
Division II champion: Kallie DeIorio, Cache FFA
Division II reserve champion: Gage McElhaney
Grand champion: Gage McElhaney, Division I
Reserve grand champion: Kallie DeIorio
Wethers, Division I — Class 1: Easton Lee, Merideth Hawkins. Class 2: Kylee Dodd, Emry Lee, Gracie Hoad, Merideth Hawkins. Class 3: Kylee Dodd, Gracie Hoad, Raygan Krey.
Division I champion: Kylee Dodd, Cache FFA, Class 2
Division I reserve champion: Kylee Dodd, Class 3
Wethers, Division II — Class 4: Emry Lee, Kylee Dodd, Meredith Hawkins. Class 5: Eli Permenter, Meredith Hawkins. Class 6: Eli Permenter.
Division II champion: Emry Lee, Elgin 4-H, Class 4
Division II reserve champion: Eli Permenter, Cache FFA
Grand champion wether goat: Emry Lee
Reserve grand champion wether goat: Eli Permenter
Junior showmanship: Emry Lee
Intermediate showmanship: Kylee Dodd
Senior showmanship: Gage McElhaney
Dorset — Class 1: Kage Harris, reserve. Class 2: Katelyn Kimble, breed champion.
Hampshire — Class 1: Audrey McElhaney, reserve; Rylan Selcer. Class 2: Madden Barmettler, breed champion; Samantha Moore; Kash Harris; Tate Selcer.
Natural — Class i: Kage Harris, reserve. Class 2: Tyla McCaig, breed champion.
Shropshire — Class 1: Hunter McElhaney, reserve. Class 2: Madden Barmettler, breed champion.
Southdown — Katelyn Kimble, breed champion.
Crossbred — Class 1: Audrey McElhaney, Rylan Selcer. Class 2: Maverick Barmettler, reserve; Callie High; Tyla McCaig; Tate Selcer. Class 3: LaRay Cox, breed champion.
Grand champion ewe: LaRay Cox, Elgin 4-H, Crossbreed
Reserve grand champion ewe: Madden Barmettler, Comanche County 4-H, Hampshire
Hair — Rylee Morgan, breed champion.
Hampshire — Class 1: Carson Frees, reserve; Ashlye Workman; Eli Fires; Tate Selcer. Class 2: Madden Barmettler, breed champion; Rylee Morgan; Audrey McElhaney; Payton Nunley; Rylan Selcer. Class 3: Tyla McCaig, Cade Pearson.
Natural — Class 1: Samantha Moore, reserve; Olivia Gilland; Eli Fires; Katelyn Kimble. Class 2: Mary Beth Brown, Allison Sampler. Class 3: Tyla McCaig, breed champion.
Shropshire — Class 1: Shakayla Wilson. Class 2: Madden Barmettler, reserve; Payton Nunley. Class 3: Rylee Morgan, breed champion; Cade Pearson; Briley Clark; Mary Beth Brown; Katelyn Kimble.
Southdown — Hunter McElhaney, breed champion; Katelyn Kimble, reserve.
Speckleface — Class 1: Gracie Hoad, breed champion. Class 2: Allison Sampler, reserve.
Suffolk — Class 1: Taryn Quickle, breed champion; Briley Clark; Carson Frees. Class 2: Ashlye Workman, reserve; Avery Cargill.
Crossbred — Class 1: Houston Clark. Class 2: Ashlye Workman, Samantha Moore, Katelyn Kimble, Dylan Dimmit. Class 3: Madden Barmettler, breed champion; Audrey McElhaney; Taryn Quickle; Rylan Selcer. Class 4: LaRay Cox, reserve; Tyla McCaig; MayCee Nunley; Tate Selcer.
Grand champion wether lamb: Madden Barmettler, Comanche County 4-H, Crossbreed
Reserve grand champion wether lamb: LaRay Cox, Elgin 4-H, Crossbreed
Junior showmanship: Rylee Morgan, Comanche County 4-H
Intermediate showmanship: Audrey McElhaney, Elgin
Senior showmanship: Samantha Moore, Lawton