Nicholasville native wins at junior angus show
By Glenn McGlothlin
Tyler Day, 9, from Nicholasville recently won Reserve Grand Champion Steer at the 2018 Kentucky Junior Angus Preview Show in Louisville.
Day, who has been showing cattle since he was five, said the competition is all about presentation.
“A cattle competition looks like a large fenced off area for cattle to be led into the ‘ring’ by the people who show them,” Day said. “You line your steer up and position their feet correctly. You also have to make sure you keep the steer’s head up.”
During competition season, Day said he has plenty of work to keep him busy.
“We wash our cattle one to two times a day during show season,” Day said. “You blow dry your cow’s hair after you wash it to help the hair grow. You lead your steer so they will walk with you. If they poop, you have to scoop it up right away and keep your area very clean. You must also feed and water them several times a day.”
Despite all the work involved, Day’s love for animals started at a young age with his first competition.
“I have always lived on a farm, my grandparents live on a farm too,” Day said. “My dad decided to buy cattle for our farm and we all worked the farm as a family. Working with my family to win has made me love animals even more.”
While Day was victorious over his class in the competition, he also said he has not been without struggles.
“The most difficult issue I have had is I am much smaller than my steer,” Day said. “Keeping the steer from kicking me or headbutting me is hard. If an animal senses that you are afraid of it, then it may not follow your lead. I have to believe that I can control my steer and not be afraid for the big animal that it is.”
Taking care of cattle and competing has taught Day many lessons he would not have otherwise learned.
“Rain or shine, the animals must eat and drink,” Day said. “If it is cold, they must still eat and drink. If they are sick, you have to check on them a lot to make sure they are OK. Sometimes, we have to put caring for our cattle before something else that I may want to do.”
Day said he encourages more kids to watch cattle shows to learn the importance of farming and cattle.
“It is a lot of fun and it teaches good work ethic,” Day said.
For more information about upcoming cattle competitions, contact the Kentucky Angus Association at www.kentuckyangus.org.