An Ennis 4-H junior division competitor snagged both the junior division showmanship award and overall grand champion award for his prize heifer on the final day of the Ellis County Youth Expo on Friday.
Brayden DeBorde and Samantha Garcia competed with showmen in 32 classes to be named the grand and reserve champions, respectively.
Often there was only one entry in a class making it easy for judge Michael Schertz to name the top competitor, but at the final level, the judging was close.
Schertz told the audience that all were close and are contenders of the top of their breed.
In the British breed class, Schertz worked down through the drive to name DeBorde as top winner for his showing of a white faced Hereford.
“These are the best of the best and a really tough call on these fine examples of their class,” Schertz said.
Schertz finally worked though the final drive to determine the top two show heifers. Working through the best of the American, British and European entries, Schertz made his final choice selecting the Hereford shown by DeBorde for first and Garcia’s British for reserve.
DeBorde began showing when he was 8 years old and has stayed with the white faced Herefords the majority of the time.
“I really like the Herefords, but I also have some angus,” DeBorde said.
DeBorde comes from a farming family with his father being in the cattle business.
Winning the top grand champion heifer award was one of many prizes DeBorde has won. This year he has won seven, either grand or reserve awards showing in the Houston, San Antonio and Fort Worth Shows.
“This year, I have received over $25,000 in scholarships,” DeBorde said.
DeBorde has already seen success in the show ring and seeing cattle from his cattle company in some of the state’s top shows. The youthful entrepreneur hails from Bardwell where his family’s cattle business is based and where he bases his own business, BCD Cattle Company.
DeBorde also won the junior showmanship ribbon. He was joined by Nathan Derden taking home the senior showmanship award.
DeBorde is the son of Meredith and Eric DeBorde. He is a sixth grade student at New Way Leadership Academy.
Garcia earned the reserve champion award showing her short horn breed.
“What I like most about showing is the adrenalin rush; getting ready, getting myself and my animal to be the best in the arena,” Garcia said.
Garcia, a Waxahachie High School junior, started her show career eight years ago at the age of 8.
“I started out showing rabbits, but as I got older, I wanted something bigger. I tried pigs, but cows are better,” she said. “What raising and showing animals does the most for me is, be a stronger person; setting goals and being responsible for something other than myself.”