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Junior prepares for Randall County Livestock Show

She struggles as she walks in holding a silver cage loaded with rabbits. Through the hustle and bustle she hurries to the check-in table, setting the heavy cage on the arena ground. As she places one rabbit on the scale it squirms and kicks, trying to escape her firm grasp. After checking in each rabbit, she hurries off to prepare her animals by trimming nails, brushing fur, and making sure their coat is in top condition. She then one by one takes each rabbit by the ears and places them in their assigned cage, awaiting the show to begin. This is only one of the few livestock shows Junior Sheridan Artho enters each year.

January 20-23 the Randall County Junior Livestock Show will be hosted at the West Texas A&M horse center in Canyon, Texas for 4H and FFA members. Artho will be participating in the livestock show for the 11th  time with both 4H and FFA. Although in the past she has also shown pigs, this year she will be showing three rabbits and a heifer. This season Artho has shown a rabbit at the Tri-State Fair and also plans to travel to the Fort Worth Livestock show in February.

“[To prepare] I work on the coat and condition a lot,” Artho said. “I take a damp cloth and brush their hair backwards.”

Artho said the most challenging part of showing rabbits is the everyday keep up, which includes making sure their water is not frozen and keeping the rabbits in top condition constantly. She said another frustration occurs when the rabbits do something such as break a tooth before a show.

“If the tooth doesn’t grown back in time the rabbit can be disqualified,” Artho said. “Another hard part of rabbit showing is putting up with all of the scratches and hair that [I] get covered in,”

Sheridan’s first year of showing she won Grand Champion and Breed Champion, for which she received a trophy, a belt buckle, and $800. Last year she won Showmanship Champion and received a belt buckle and $400.

“My goal this year is to place high in Showmanship and not get drug [around the arena] by my heifer,” Artho said. “But it’s not just the trophies and money I receive, rather the friendships I have made are more rewarding than anything else.”

Artho said she believe FFA opens up many oppurtunities for kids through livestock showing, judging and vet med. She also said it can help prepare kids who want to be agriculturally involved or who want to carry a career in animal science.

“FFA has taught me how to overcome obstacles that come my way and turn them into advantages, “ Artho said.  “It has also taught me how to keep up with dedications and be more involved with my school through the animals I love.” owHo

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