These days politics and livestock showing are two things that go hand in hand. If you walk out of the ring and are given a blue ribbon than it is automatically assumed that you have paid thousands for your animal. If you dare walk out of the ring with a banner than not only did you pay thousands for the animal but you also paid thousands for someone to fit, care for it, and do a number of other obscene things that “have to be done to win.” Of course there are those people that do those things, but there are also people out there that devote an entire show season to their animals and work their rear ends off to be competitive. As I end my career as a youth showman I have seen all sorts of scenarios play out, but more often than not the individuals being hurt by the gossip going on behind their back as they exit the ring are those showman that have worked for their placing. In the midst of one of the most special moments of a showman’s career they are being belittled and it can ruin the moment if you aren’t careful and let it.
So to all of my fellow showman out there who have either been in this situation or will be in the future, here are 5 reasons why you shouldn’t care what other people think or say.
- It’s Your Moment
You have spent long hard hours in the barn preparing for this day. You and your animal are the only ones that should be getting attention. Instead of focusing on those people who are downing you focus in on the ones that are their supporting you. The people celebrating your success with you are the people you want to keep around. You deserve to be happy and proud of your accomplishment. After all it is your moment so make sure you live in it.
- You Know the Truth
Regardless of what the endless number of haters say, you know how your animal became a champion. You know that you worked hard for your success, you know that your animal worked hard with you, and you know that you wouldn’t change a thing. Knowledge is much more powerful than he said she said.
- You Owe it to Your Animal
You are not the only one who has worked hard all summer to be their best. Between the endless number of baths, jackpot shows, and everyday workouts, your animal has become devoted to you and determined to please you. They don’t have a voice so remember you are theirs as well. They deserve recognition for their efforts just as much as you do and it wouldn’t be fair for you to give anyone the opportunity to take that from them. So give that animal a pat on the back and be proud that they gave you a memorable summer. Your attention should be focused towards them.
- You Owe it to the Animal’s Breeders
Most often you are not the only part of the equation that has made the animal into who they are today. Somewhere behind the scenes is a breeder who has worked years to develop winning genetics. That breeder will barley receive any recognition for their efforts and it is your job to change that. If you didn’t start out with a quality animal you wouldn’t have made it to the drive even with the work you have done. Instead of feeding into the gossip frenzy take that extra time to focus your attention into making a positive moment for the breeder. They deserve it too.
- Other Generations Look Up To You
While it is much easier to throw a couple sassy comments in the direction of the hatred, being a positive role model to the younger showman is a much better solution. Show the younger generations that you have worked hard for your success and because you have worked hard it means that much more to you. The younger showman know that whoever gets the banner is who they want to be when they grow up. Teach them good sportsmanship and the value of hard work because that will earn them way more success.