Angus juniors across the country grow up dreaming of the opportunity to be named Champion Showman at the National Junior Angus Show (NJAS). Madison Cox of Eagle Point, Oregon, is no exception and saw this dream come to fruition when she was named the 2020 NJAS showmanship winner.
“I remember watching every single heat of showmanship at my first NJAS,” said Cox. “To have this chance to compete in such a prestigious contest against some of the best in the nation was so humbling.”
There are a few factors that make this arguably the most prestigious showmanship contest in the nation. Not only must a junior qualify to compete in their home state before making it to the NJAS, but they also only have one year of eligibility. After competing in her respective heat and being selected as one of the top 15 showmen and women, Cox competed in showmanship finals on Wednesday, July 22.
The top five winners were selected by Judges Cheramie Viator, Lindsey Hall and Lydell Meier after thorough consideration. Surrogate Judge Parker Henley assisted in the contest, carefully directing contestants. In closing comments, each agreed on the impressive caliber of showmen competing. Annually, the champion showman at NJAS is honored with the Dean Hurlbut Award, named after the man who organized the first national Angus showmanship contest in 1967.
“I can’t think of a better way to end my junior experience and never dreamed of this actually happening,” Cox said. “It especially means a lot to be able to represent Oregon as a smaller organization. Hopefully it inspires younger juniors to believe in themselves and their potential as well.”
Cox and other exhibitors were evaluated on their handling of their animal, their ability to follow instructions and courtesy and sportsmanship in the ring. Juniors were given preselected heifers and asked to switch multiple times throughout the contest to see how they would handle exhibiting an unfamiliar animal. Following Cox in the top five were: second place, Tyler Coleman, California; third place, Austin Ertzberger, Georgia; fourth place, Kassidy Bremer, Iowa; fifth place, Vada Vickland, Colorado.
The National Junior Angus Showmanship Contest brings together the breed’s top young showmen, and it is considered an honor to be among those competing. The remaining top 15 showmen were: Elizabeth Voight, Pennsylvania; Mattie Harward, North Carolina; Kinsey Crow, Ohio; Megan Pelan, Maryland; Corrie Falleur, Oregon; Lauryn Mool, Illinois; Julia Weaber, Kentucky; Shelley Rowlett, Tennessee; Madelyn Gerken, Oklahoma; Josh Jasper, Kentucky.
Visit www.angus.org for complete show results and news from the event.
— Written by Peyton Schmitt, Angus Communications