The Houston Livestock Show hosts several shows within the youth livestock division. In order to compete, the exhibitor must be enrolled in a public or private, elementary or secondary school in Texas. Exhibitor must be at least in the third grade or 8 years old, but not older than 19 years old on the day judging begins.
This youth show highlights specialty cattle like the Dexter and Texas Longhorn breeds. Classes are judged based on sex and age. Champions are based on physical correctness based on the breeds’ standards. Each breeds’ animal must be registered with the national registry prior to the show date and comply with the associations’ and Show’s guidelines.
The Texas Longhorn show also features a showmanship category, in which exhibitors, broken into age divisions, are chosen on their ability to exhibit their animal in the ring. The animal’s structural correctness is not a factor in the judge’s decision in this class.
The Goat show is shown in two divisions — Dairy and Boer. The classes are shown in Senior Doe, including “Best Senior Doe of Show,” and in Junior classes of Kids and Does, including “Best Junior Doe in Show” and Grand Champion Doe.
Boer goats are shown in Percentage Blood and Fullblood Divisions, junior and senior age divisions in both, and split in separate sex shows of boers and does. There is also an overall Grand Champion Goat awarded.
Youth show in categories of Junior, Intermediate and Senior in the Obstacle, Public Relations (for the animal that participates in community activities), Pack classes (simulates the conditions and obstacles actually encountered when packing llamas on the trail), and Youth Showmanship (judged on the ability to show his/her animal to its best advantage at halter and the exhibitor’s basic skills in fitting, grooming, following directions and style of presenting the animal to judge for evaluation). The animal’s conformation is not considered.
Youth have the opportunity to participate in a special program, “Lloan-A-Llama,” open to youth 5 years old and in kindergarten through 18 years of age who do not own or lease a llama or alpaca. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Llama Committee provides the animals. This contest is limited to those youth, who are not showing livestock.
In the Rabbit show, along with the Best of Breed classes, junior and intermediate youth exhibitors must also complete a written test; while senior exhibitors must complete a written test and judge a class of five rabbits. There is a First Timer’s Contest, for contestants who have not competed in a previous Youth Rabbit Judging Contest. There also is a Team Judging Contest. Each team consists of four youth exhibitors.
Exhibitors in the Meat Pen Rabbit Show must own the doe or does from which they pick their pen of rabbits. Rabbits are of the same breed and variety, but do not have to come from the same litter. Rabbit age limit is 10 weeks. Minimum weight is three pounds for each rabbit and maximum weight is five pounds for each rabbit. Exhibitors vie for Grand Champion Pen and Reserve Grand Champion Pen of Meat Rabbits.