TEXARKANA, Texas — The title of champion is not just for a person or a team of people, but it can also be applied to a person-animal tandem.
Cydnee-Ann Presson, a fourth-grader at Redwater Middle School, won the Grand Champion Star Five Female with her cow, Lucinda, in the National Santa Gertrudis Show at the 2020 Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo on Jan. 19.
“My favorite thing about showing my cow is winning first place,” Presson said. “I also like when my sister wins first place. I enjoy hanging out with my friends and family at the cow shows.”
Presson preps her cow for shows by washing, blow drying and brushing the hide. She spends about an hour each day caring for Lucinda.
“My uncle would always try to get me into showing cows but after a while he stopped trying to talk me into it,” Presson said. “I started to think about it more after he stopped and decided that I wanted to get out more. Showing cows is really fun to do.”
Prizes for Presson’s win included a belt buckle, an embroidered champion cowhide pillow and a rosette.
Michael McConaughey is Presson’s uncle and coach. He started showing cows when he was in the seventh grade. McConaughey showed Lucinda at the Forth Worth show for Presson, who was unable to attend. The rules for the junior competition state that a blood relative is allowed to show the cow.
“Kids learn responsibility through showing cows,” McConaughey said. “They have to feed the cow every day and do all of the daily chores associated with it. It teaches them about respect because they have to respect the animal. Showing livestock also molds leaders.
“Cydnee watches how I handle the cow and, along with my mom and dad, we help teach her along the way. When I showed cows, I made several friends that I still keep in touch with to this day. Winning is always fun, but the friendships and families I meet along the way really make the industry as a whole.”
Prizes vary from show to show. Some give out cash premiums, while some shows give out scholarships. Other prizes are banners, monogrammed cowhide pillows, buckles, bags, chairs, silver platters and stainless steel cups.
A participant in the junior shows has to be at least nine years old or in the third grade in order to be eligible to compete for the first time. In Texas, participants can show up until their senior year of high school.
“I also have learned about cow behaviors,” Presson said. “When a cow chewed with no food in its mouth, it was strange to me. I found out that it was chewing its cud. I was confused about it; it was weird to me. I found out from my family that cows chew for fun.”
Presson and Lucinda’s next big show is the Gerts A Plenty National Junior Santa Gertrudis Show on June 13-20 in West Monroe, Louisiana.
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