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7 Things to do at the Show Before Walking into the Ring

1. Upon arrival and up until show day, you should exercise your calf each day, ideally 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening. Exercise helps keep your calf’s stride right and helps with its overall eating habits. It is even better if you can exercise your calf in the actual show ring to get it used to the surroundings.

2. When it comes to water and feed, you want to make sure to take the same buckets you use at home because they are familiar to your calf. It is important to get your calf to drink water at a show to encourage appetite. Bring different feed and hay options depending on what your calf may need on that particular day. If your show is during the winter, cold cattle on a cold day don’t like to drink much cold water. To take the chill off the water, cover the bucket and let it sit for 12 hours.

3. Temperature and climate can make a difference in how grooming products work. Make sure you have all your supplies in your showbox and that the nozzles on the adhesives and paints aren’t clogged. Aerosols tend to work best at a moderate temperature. During winter, you may need to have a bucket heater handy to warm the products. Likewise, during hotter months, make sure you keep the products in a cool, dry place.

4. Look at the class sheet to see what breed, division, weight bracket, age bracket, etc. that you are in. Judges average about two minutes per head per class. To get an idea of how much time you have to fit your calf on show day, count the number of head in all the classes before yours then multiply that by two minutes for the approximate amount of time you have. You will want to give yourself enough time to finish fitting and get to the makeup ring. You should allot at least two hours for your fitting.

5. You may want to watch some of the classes prior to yours to get an idea of what the judge is looking for and how long he or she is spending per calf. It is also a good idea to map out your way to the makeup ring to make sure you give yourself enough time to get there.

6. When it comes to washing your calf on show day, you will need to decide if you’re going to let the calf lay down after you wash it then fit later or if you are going to wash and go straight into fitting. With light-colored cattle like Charolais, white Shorthorns and others, we recommend you go straight to fitting so they don’t get dirty spots or stains.

7. After washing your calf and before putting it in the chute for fitting, it is a good idea to put your show halter on first so it is one less thing you have to do before you go to the makeup ring. This will allow you a little more time for fitting or any last minute touchups should you need them.