A Cowboy’s Faith: Round-robin showing all livestock – Osage County Online | Osage County News

A Cowboy’s Faith: Round-robin showing all livestock

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“To be the round-robin showmanship champion is the most significant accomplishment at the county fair.”

With most local fairs now ended, exhibitors, spectators and families reflect memories of the good, bad, indifferent times experienced.

Of course, there’s wide variation in opinion of what’s the most important aspect of fair accomplishments. There are some who insist: “Everything about the fair is fun, win, lose or draw.”

Yet, the majority has to admit success in a specific division is their highlight to remain lifetime memories.

Horse exhibitors, of course, always want to show the champion. Same is true for steers, hogs, lambs, and goats. Seamstresses hope to have the best sewing exhibit. Photographers want to show the top picture, and style review participants desire to be most fashionable. The list goes on for exhibitors of entries in every fair book category.

The round-robin livestock showmanship division receives mixed opinions from exhibitors, parents and fair officials. Clarifying, round-robin showmanship has semblance, not that much different from round-robin sports contests, and the like.

However, in this fair competition, winners in their respective specie showmanship division come together showing all species of livestock. They have their own exhibit, first showing it, and then show the other specie winners’ entries. The one exhibitor garnering most points showing all species of livestock is crowned the champion.

To be round-robin showmanship winner is considered the most prestigious fair accomplishment to some. Yet, others downplay the competition insisting an exhibitor only needs to be the best at showing their own specie entry. What difference does it make about the others?

Individual specie showmanship winners sometimes even refuse to compete in the overall round-robin competition.

Today included in most fair programs, round-robin was not a fair class for many years. Then when a few fairs started having round-robin, certain exhibitors saw no significance for participation and didn’t.

Rules vary, changing through time, but generally now one has to win a specie division to qualify for round-robin.

Decades ago, a wannabe cowboy showed in round-robin with his last place horse showmanship entry because nobody else wanted to participate. He wasn’t any better at showing cattle, hogs and sheep than horses so obviously got round-robin booby prize. Even last place can create lifetime memories.

Reminded of First Thessalonians 3:6: “You always have fond memories of special times.”

030615-franksmug2Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.

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