Angus juniors from across the U.S. compete in the National Junior Angus showmanship contest.
National Junior Angus Association (NJAA) members have one opportunity in their junior career to represent their state in the National Junior Angus showmanship contest. This year at the National Junior Angus Show (NJAS) hosted in Des Moines, Iowa, Claudia Hissong of Greencastle, Pa., claimed the honor of top showman.
“When you hit those green shavings it’s an awesome feeling,” Hissong says. “Showmanship has always been one of my favorite events. You can’t always have the best cattle, but showmanship is about you.
“You’ve got to be able to get your heifer stuck and remain calm. A good showman can make a half-decent heifer look pretty good and a bad showman can ruin a really good heifer,” she says.
During the 2017 National Junior Angus Show, 45 junior members competed for the title of champion showman. The preliminary round consisted of four heats on Thursday, July 13, where the top 15 showmen were selected. The finalists competed Saturday, July 15, to be considered among the top five.
The journey to earning one of the coveted silver bowls, which are awarded to the top five showmen, begins in each contestant’s home state, where two juniors are selected as representatives. The top showman at the NJAS is honored with the Dean Hurlbut Award, named after the man who organized the first showmanship competition in 1967.
Three judges evaluated the juniors on their skills while handling an animal, their ability to follow instructions, and evidence of courtesy and sportsmanship in the showring. This year’s showmanship judges were: Jon Davis of Gallipolis, Ohio; Rick Blanchard of Firebaugh, Calif.; and Amanda Raithel of Falls City, Neb.
Following Hissong in the top five were: Second place, Sydney Schnoor, Chowchilla, Calif.; third place, Kade Patton, Frankfort, Ind.; fourth place, Shayne Myers, Colusa, Calif.; and fifth place, Conrad Behlmann, Saint Paul, Mo.
Showmanship judge Amanda Raithel says she was looking for showmen and women who exhibit an element of professionalism in the ring.
“The level of competition at the National Junior Angus showmanship competition is nothing but elite,” Raithel says. “Claudia might be the smoothest showman I’ve ever seen in my entire life. She’s just something special.”
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 top 15 showmen who were awarded a pair of Andis clippers were: Austin Alvarez, Dade City, Fla.; Tim Mardesen, Oxford, Iowa; Kalie Rumbold, Wyanet, Ill.; Anna Carpenter, Wamego, Kan.; Katelyn Corsentino, Denham Springs, La.; Sterling Reichenbach, Bath, Mich; Adam Bierstedt, Pipestone, Minn.; Jordyn Wagner, Billings, Mont.; Alana Eisenhour, Wellsville, Pa.; and Alexa Montagne, Elk Point, S.D.
Those receiving honorable mentions were: Shayna DeGroot, Edgerton, Minn.; Heather Worlein, Prineville, Ore.; Bethany White, Morton, Miss.; and Megan Albers, Bend, Ore.
The 2017 NJAS in Des Moines, Iowa, was a record breaker for the Angus breed. More than 1,260 head of Angus cattle were shown — the largest number since the last record was set 10 years ago.
Visit www.angus.org for complete show results and news from the event.