The first day of March at the 2021 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ began with the Junior Breeding Sheep Show.
Twelve breeds ranging from Dorper to Dorset strutted onto the green shavings to be judged by Dr. Mike Salisbury of San Angelo, Texas.
With large class sizes and stiff competition, sometimes the difference between winning and placing lower comes down to one thing: showmanship.
What makes an outstanding showman? Just ask 11-year-old Heston Hohenberger of Blanco County 4-H, who won Champion White Dorper Ewe.
After receiving a congratulatory nod from the judge, the first thing Heston did was acknowledge the other exhibitors in the ring.
“It’s good to let your competition know you care about them,” he said. “They worked really hard to get here, too.”
Heston said he believes a good sheep showman makes eye contact with the judge, presents themselves and their project well, and stays alert in the show ring.
“Good showmanship represents who you are and how much you have worked with your animal,” he said.
In addition, winning Champion Ewe, Heston also took home a trophy for Reserve Champion White Dorper Ram, but he is not letting his success go to his head.
“A winner is someone who reflects on how they did for next time, and is a good sport toward other people,” he said.