The 26th annual Ellis County Youth Expo wrapped up the youth livestock showings with the steer competition Friday night.
For the third year in a row, Baily Eubank wrapped up her show career taking home the top Grand Champion award.
Following the Pee Wee Showmanship competition, the steer competitors began entering the ring to close out the night. There were 34 entries divided up into 10 different classes.
Show Judge Michael Schertz began working through the breed classes. Beginning with the American breeds, Schertz carefully judged each entry. The other classes shown were British and European.
Eubank began to work her way to the grand championship drive with her grand champion British steer. After describing the qualities of each of the breed grand winners, Schertz walked over to shake the hand of Eubank as the overall grand champion.
For the Italy FFA and Italy high school senior, this win was a special win. This is the third consecutive year win and the fourth grand championship for Baily, the daughter of Larry and Sandy Eubank.
“This is really bittersweet. I wouldn’t have gone out any other way,” Baily said.
Her steer was home grown, being the calf of a family raised cow.
“His name is Freddy. He was the last calf from the last cow my grandfather Fred, nicknamed Fafa, bought before he died,” she said.
Baily began showing as a pee wee.
“Showing is very special to me. My dad and my aunt have shown since they were young. As a family we take showing livestock very seriously,” she said.
Baily will be going to Blinn College to begin her college then transfer in to Texas A&M to major in agriculture communications.
“I’ll miss most being out in the ag barns working with the animals and learning all the great lessons the livestock industry has taught me,” she said.
However she will not be far away from the show arena.
“I plan on helping my nieces and cousins become good showmen.”
This year, she was ringside coaching her niece, Ella.
“I’ll be passing on the mantle to them,” Baily said.
For the second year in a row, Anna Arnold joined her friend and fellow competitor, Baily, in the winner’s arena by earning the reserve champion steer award with her American entry. Anna is a freshman at Ennis High School and the daughter of Karen and Mark Arnold.
Winning the grand reserve in the American breeds for the second year in a row earned Anna a position in the final grand reserve drive.
She is also no stranger to the show ring. Anna began showing in the second grade.
“I love working with the animals and meeting new people from the other clubs,” Anna said.
Previously this year, she placed third in the San Antonio show.
“I love all breeds, but the American’s are my favorite,” she said.
Many of the livestock competitors came back to the show ring to compete in the showman competition.
In the junior showman division, Schertz named Cameron Luedtke of Midlothian FFA as the top showman. This is the second year for Luedtke.
The top senior showman was Hailey Drerup of Midlothian FFA.
The final drive of the show was the county bred cows. To classify as county bred, the animal must have been bred and raised in Ellis County.
The grand champion county bred award went to Kylee Harrison from Waxahachie 4-H with a European. The reserve champion award went to Parker Wiley representing the Midlothian 4-H.
Schertz was very complimentary of the animals, the youth and the many volunteers of the show.
“The volunteers here have made my job easy, and I could focus more on the kids and the animals,” Schertz said. “This one of the deepest quality shows I’ve judged, both in the heifer and steer groups. They were very impressive. Many of the second and third place animals would win in many other shows.”
“This is one of the toughest county shows I’ve seen. The quality goes hand in hand with the help of the many ag teachers and the county extension agents,” Schertz added.