After four days of sorting through nearly 4,000 entries, a Grand and Reserve Grand Champion were chosen at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Junior Market Barrow Show, Thursday, March 23.
The stands erupted with cheers as Allie James, 17, a junior representing Stratford FFA, won the Grand Champion title with her Other Crossbred barrow. Allie said this win means so much to her because of all the time she has devoted to showing over the years.
“I’ve been doing this my whole life,” James said. “I have been working at it every day. I can never get away from it, but it has made me grow as a person.”
Allie said she is thankful for her strong support system of family and friends who drove 12 hours from her hometown of Stratford, Texas, to Houston to cheer for her.
“My family and show family are all here,” she said. “When I win, everybody wins.”
Allie has been showing at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo since she was in third grade. She plans to attend Texas Tech University, and hopes to one day become a veterinarian.
Sadie Hardison was overcome with emotion as her Other Crossbred barrow was named Reserve Grand Champion. The 13-year-old from Fredericksburg, Texas, said she has been showing for six years, and it has taken a lot of hard work and dedication to achieve this honor.
“It’s crazy,” Sadie said. “This win means everything to me, and I am excited to celebrate with my show [Fredericksburg FFA] group.”
Both champions, along with top placing junior market barrows, will be sold at the Junior Market Barrow Auction, Friday, March 24, at noon in the NRG Arena Sales Pavilion.
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is a Section 501(c)(3) charity that benefits youth, supports education, and facilitates better agricultural practices through exhibitions and presentation. Since its beginning in 1932, the Show has committed more than $430 million to the youth of Texas. For more information, visit rodeohouston.com and connect with #RODEOHOUSTON online via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for all of the latest news. The 2017 Show runs through March 26.