Aleigh Aurin beams after winning first place in senior beef showmanship at the Routt County Fair on Friday.

Photo by Tom Ross

Aleigh Aurin beams after winning first place in senior beef showmanship at the Routt County Fair on Friday.

Youngsters compete for beef showmanship at Routt County Fair



■ Event locations

OA: Outdoor arena; MPB: Multipurpose Building; EX: Exhibit Halll; F: Field; SAB: Small Animal Barn; T: Track

■ Saturday

Chain saw carving demo all day with a silent auction for finished products. Exhibition Hall, vendors and midway open, inflatable rides.

8 a.m. Exhibit Hall opens

10 a.m. Lion’s Club Parade, downtown Hayden

11 a.m. 4-H/National FFA Organization round robin showmanship (MPB)

11:30 a.m. Mutton Bustin’ (T) calf/bull riding immediately follows Mutton Bustin’ (OA)

Noon Community Agriculture Alliance horse shoe pitching contest (F)

1 p.m. Open Gymkhana (OA)

3:30 p.m. 4-H Presale/Bobby Robinson memorial barbecue and entertainment (F)

5:30 p.m. Junior livestock sale (MPB)

8:30 p.m. to midnight Peabody Energy, Twentymile Coal Co. barn dance featuring One Mile South (F)

■ Sunday

Exhibition Hall, vendors and midway open, inflatable rides

8 a.m. Exhibit Hall opens

9 a.m. Pretty baby contest (EH)

9 a.m. Chuck Fulton memorial open draft horse contest (OA) team pull auction (T) Flattops Ranch Supply team pull competition immediately follows auction (T)

10 a.m. Mayor’s brownie contest and commissioners’ cookie basket contest (EH)

10 a.m. Coloring contest judging (EH)

12:30 p.m. Ranch rodeo team auction (T)

1 p.m. Ranch rodeo (OA)

1 p.m. Mutton Bustin’ (T) calf/bull riding immediately follows Mutton Bustin’(OA)

1 p.m. Mountain Valley Bank Ranch Rodeo (OA)

2 p.m. Hunters Hot Shots horse races (T) adopt-a-pig immediately following horse races, pre-entry required

2 to 6 p.m. Open class payout, exhibits released (EH)


Routt County Fair Queen, Tia Rozell, has her hair done by her mother, Donna Rozell, and sister, Shiloh Rozell, before entering the show ring Friday with her steer.

Submit recipes

The 100th anniversary of the county fair is three years away, but the effort to create a commemorative fair centennial cookbook in time for the December holidays in 2013 is under way.

Organizer Nancy Mucklow said anyone who has a noteworthy family recipe, from grandma’s biscuits to sarvisberry preserves, is urged to submit it for possible inclusion in the book.

Recipe submittal forms are available at the Routt County Extension Office, 136 Sixth St. in Steamboat Springs. Mail completed forms to: Fair Cookbook, P.O. Box 772830, Steamboat Springs, CO 80477. Email completed forms to faircookbook@co.r...

— Aleigh Aurin won the first-place ribbon in senior beef showmanship at the Routt County Fair on Friday with a yearling steer that showed off his uncommonly good posture.

“From the moment your calf walked into the arena, he just set up right and looked the best he could look,” judge Travis Hoffman, of Colorado State University told Aurin. “He held his head high.”

Beef showmanship might sound like an out-of-the-ordinary competition to city folk, but it’s mandatory for 4-H youngsters showing animals in the market classes at the fair. In beef showmanship, the human contestant most often chooses to show a steer, but calves are not unheard of, nor are cows.

One of the best-looking animals (to an unpracticed eye) in the senior class Friday afternoon was a large cow that was difficult to control until an assistant brought her calf to her side.

Hoffman was looking for the behavior of the animal and whether its handler was able to set it up and move its feet into proper position — approximating the four corners of a rectangle. One bystander observed that just as a horse can sense if its rider is fearful, a steer picks up on the nervousness of its handler and reflects that tension in the ring.

The handlers groom their animals meticulously before entering the show ring.

Routt County Extension agent CJ Mucklow said raising a steer is an expensive proposition these days with the worldwide shortage of grain and the cost of the diesel fuel needed to harvest the grain.

“Some of these kids put $1,000 worth of feed into those animals,” Mucklow said.

This year’s 49 steers are the second most entered at the fair, 4-H agent Cassidy Kurtz said. After auction price for pigs went down in 2010 and lamb chops stayed steady, the number of pigs at the fair this year is down to 67 and the number of sheep is up to 73.

Mucklow ventured that the number of steers will drop off next year but that he sees the number of goats (18 this year) on the rise because they are relatively inexpensive and easy to raise.

“A lot of the kids showing goats this year are in the first, second or third year of 4-H,” he said.

The Routt County Fair continues all day Saturday and Sunday in Hayden.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email


ybul 5 years, 8 months ago

It is too bad that the kids are taught to hang as much weight as possible on the steers as possible. They ought to create a category for optimum weight gain per steer, thus optimizing the dollars invested in pasture and grain going into the cow and what the weight gain is for that amount of money invested.

A kid could go mow yards, bag the grass and take it home to feed the steer. Thus they would get paid to put weight on the steer. As tough as it is in the livestock business, we should encourage the kids to think outside of the corrals.



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