The 2002 McCulloch County Junior Livestock Show and Sale is back in town and school districts, students and parents have altered their schedules to make way for another three-day event that’s a full year in the making. First introduced in 1960, the Junior Livestock Show and Sale is sponsored annually by the McCulloch County Livestock Association and with each passing year it continues to leave its mark on the local community. For many of this year’s competitors, this show and sale will be first of many as they go on to larger shows such as ones at San Angelo, Houston and San Antonio. For others, this show will be the culmination of a year-long project that will end in the sale ring Saturday night. McCulloch County Extension Agent Jerry Kidd stated that the biggest changes this year will be with scheduling. “We’ll still come in on Thursday afternoon and check in with animals but then early Friday morning we’ll start with rabbits and then move on to hogs,” he said. “Following lunch we’ll judge the sheep and lamb divisions and finish Friday afternoon with steers and heifers.” The Little Britches competitions will be held Friday and Saturday around 12 noon each day “Give or take 30 or 40 minutes,” said Kidd. “We really have a record number of entries this year. It’s up about 10 percent from last year. We have 160 exhibitors with close to 460 animals entered. We’re expecting some high quality animals as in the past, and we’re really looking for a great show, especially since our weather is what we consider ‘decent’ for stock show weather.” Last year the livestock show had close to 400 animals entered with 184 exhibitors. “We have less kids, but more animal entries this year,” said Kidd. Entered in the show are 38 Angora goats, 96 breeding meat goats, 145 market meat goats, 45 gilts, 60 market hogs, 72 market lambs, 33 breeding sheep, 66 rabbits, 21 breeding heifers and 38 market steers. “The only two species that we actually saw a decrease in from last year’s entries was in the Angora goats and market hogs divisions,” Kidd said. “We were really surprised to see that every other category is up. With the economy being what it is, we really anticipated a decrease this year. It simply shows that we have good, strong support by our community.” Serving this year as the judge for the hog, sheep and cattle divisions will be Malcolm Osbourne from Llano. Osbourne will do all of the Friday judging except for rabbits which will be judged by Carrol Hooks from Moody. Pat Jackson of Christoval will be judging all of the Angora goats and breeding meat goats on Saturday. The showmanship classes for each species will feature the top entrants of each class that exhibit exemplary show skills. The classes will be sub-divided by the exhibitor’s age as of the day of show. Little Britches will be eight years and under, Junior Class will be 13 years and under and Senior Class will be 14 years and older. The Little Britches competitions are sure to entertain all of those who attend as young exhibitors head into the ring with a competitor’s animal as they try their hand at showmanship. Each species’ showmanship class will be open and voluntary to all exhibitors within their age group. Each exhibitor must be the owner of the animal being used with the exception of the Little Britches event. Each division has a major rotating trophy that is sponsored by a community family or local business. Cash prizes, belt buckles, jackets, trophies and ribbons will be awarded. Last year’s premium sale brought over $62,000 to the auction block. This year, organizers are hoping to break that record in yet another show of support for the future of McCulloch County. “This sale is really the highlight of our entire show,” said Kidd. “That’s when the kids get to bring their animal in and present them to the buyers. Without the support of the community and the buyers, we would not have this show. “This is all for the kids and all the money that comes through the auction goes straight back to the kids with an estimated 90 percent of the money cycled back into the local community.” The 2002 Livestock Show and Sale will get an early start on Thursday, Jan. 10 with check in scheduled from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Judging will begin Friday morning at 8 a.m. See the complete schedule of events in Friday’s Brady Standard-Herald.