Calgary – It was supreme smiles all around for the winners of the 2019 Calgary Stampede International Youth Livestock Supreme Championship on Sunday at the Nutrien Western Event Centre.
The Calgary Stampede and Olds Regional Exhibition partner in a week-long collaboration to showcase youth in agriculture by hosting the International Youth Livestock competition during the final weekend of the Calgary Stampede for youth aged nine through 21.
It was the show of a lifetime for competitors, many who are just getting started in their young careers, including 14-year-old Justin Leeson from Hays, Alberta. Leeson won in the Sheep category with his two-year-old mature ewe named Mojo, who he raised since she was three-months-old.
“I’ve had her since she was a young lamb,” Leeson said after his $500 win, adding Mojo raised three triplets on her own this year.
“She did really well. It’s pretty exciting to have that many people looking at you, clapping for you. I’m happy I got the opportunities I did.”
Young enthusiasts demonstrated their stewardship skills in sheep or beef species classes and competed for $70,000 in scholarships and prizes, which were awarded to 55 of agriculture’s most promising youth.
Over 250 competitors from across western Canada participated in this collaborative programming between Calgary Stampede and Olds Regional Exhibition in its 42nd year of competition.
There were five different components to the competition: confirmation, showmanship, grooming, multi-species judging and marketing. All 55 International Youth Livestock scholarship recipients are recognized by being announced on stage during the Evening Show.
Cole Reid of Hafford, Saskatchewan took top honours in the Commercial category, with his maintainer yearling heifer from South Dakota.
“It’s pretty exciting. We’ve been waiting all spring, did a couple shows early on and didn’t do as well but this is my time to shine and we did shine,” he said.
“It’s probably my biggest win. It’s super exciting, after I shook hands I was instantly shaking. I didn’t think I was going to stay standing for some of it.”
And in the Pure Bred category, 19-year-old Hally Adams of Forestburg, Alberta won with her Black Angus pair, who she bought as a calf out of the Angus Collection Sale and has worked with almost every day since.
“It’s was pretty cool, it really gets your emotions going,” she said, adding her love for the event is a family affair. “It’s just something my family has always done and all three of us sisters love it.”
About the Calgary Stampede
The Calgary Stampede celebrates the people, the animals, the land, the traditions and the values that make up the unique spirit of the west. The Calgary Stampede contributes to the quality of life in Calgary and southern Alberta through our world-renowned Stampede, year-round facilities, western events and several youth and agriculture programs. Exemplifying the theme We’re Greatest Together; we are a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organization that preserves and promotes western heritage and values. All revenue is reinvested into Calgary Stampede programs and facilities.
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