Exhibitors’ dreams were made, Friday, March 8, with the selection of the Grand and Reserve Grand Champion Junior Market Lambs and Goats.
Stockdale 4-H member Jessica Puente of Stockdale, Texas, received Grand Champion Junior Market Lamb. Jessica said winning this award meant so much to her because of her ties to agriculture.
“Winning Grand Champion means everything to me,” she said. “I don’t know how else to describe it. It’s so awesome to get an award because showing is good for agriculture, and ag supports me. It allows me to live, breathe and eat.”
FFA member Trae Shearer from Bells, Texas, said he also was amazed after winning Reserve Grand Champion Junior Market Lamb.
“I didn’t think it would be me,” Trae said. “It’s shocking and means so much to me because sheep are my favorite animals.”
Grand Champion Junior Market Goat was exhibited by 18-year-old Mason County 4-H member Gabe Jennings of Fredonia, Texas. Receiving this award was an accomplishment for Gabe, who said he enjoys the competitive aspect of showing.
“It’s just awesome,” Gabe said. “It’s fun being able to get out in the ring and compete.”
Zane Mauney, 17, from Santo, Texas, showed the Reserve Grand Champion Junior Market Goat. This Palo Pinto County 4-H member said this award is the payoff of 13 years of hard work.
“It means everything to me,” Zane said. “I’ve been doing this since I was 4 years old, and it’s like a dream come true.”
World record prices were set at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Junior Market Lamb and Goat Auction, Saturday, March 9.
The Grand Champion Junior Market Lamb, exhibited by Wilson County 4-H member Jessica Puente, 16, was purchased by the Hildebrand Family, in memory of Ruth and Dr. Tommy Hildebrand, for $220,000, setting a world’s record. Brittany Hildebrand said she is glad her family is able to support others in the name of her grandparents.
“We made a scholarship in memory of my grandmother,” she said. “Then my grandfather passed away recently, so it is mainly to support what they loved to do. We love the Rodeo just as much as they did, and this money goes toward a good cause and does amazing things.”
Exhibited by 16-year-old Trae Shearer of Bells FFA, the Reserve Grand Champion Junior Market Lamb sold for $136,000, breaking another world’s record. The lamb sold to Ted Gaylord; Cookie Michael/KCEF Foundation; Archie and Pamela Thompson; and Sharleen and Rob Walkoviak.
Rob Walkoviak said he is glad to support the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s commitment to education.
“Education for us has been as important in our lives as it is in the lives of many folks,” Walkoviak said. “I hopefully have taken a little of that burden off of students, and that is why we support this.”
Mason County 4-H member Gabe Jennings, 18, sold his Grand Champion Junior Market Goat for $156,000, breaking yet another world’s record at the auction. Skip Avara; Ken and Mary Hucherson; Melton Electric, Inc.; and David and Julie Shannon purchased the animal.
Ken Hucherson said this auction is about more than the money.
“We feel very blessed to be able to do this,” he said. “It is a wonderful cause. It’s not about the money. I think my wife said it best a couple of years ago — it’s about our future.”
Reserve Grand Champion Junior Market Goat sold for $100,000 to Mimi and Tom Dompier; Anne and Chris Richardson; and Jennifer and Joe Van Matre. Zane Mauney, 17, of Palo Pinto County 4-H, exhibited the goat.
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Lifetime Vice President Tom Dompier said purchasing the goat helps students and their families.
“It is the best feeling in the world to help all these kids get a college education and be contributive citizens,” he said. “It just does somebody good.”
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is a Section 501(c)(3) charity that benefits youth, supports education, and facilitates better agricultural practices through exhibitions and presentation. Since its beginning in 1932, the Show has committed more than $330 million to the youth of Texas. The 2013 Show runs through Sunday, March 17.
For tickets and more information, visit www.rodeohouston.com.