By Cass Rains, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
After the judge spoke at length Friday morning about what he likes to see in steers, he had handlers take another round about the show ring.
After the students returned to their earlier positions, it took a few moments of building anticipation and suspense before the judge announced Blackwell’s Colton DeMuth raised the grand champion steer at the 79th annual Northwest District Junior Livestock Show at Chisholm Trail Expo Center.
“To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I would make it,” DeMuth said. “I was just trying to make it to the sale. I didn’t expect to make it to the grand.”
The Blackwell High School senior and president of his 4-H chapter said his favorite part about raising a steer for the livestock shows is getting into the show ring.
“I’m pretty big on the showing,” DeMuth said, noting he likes the excitement before the winners are announced.
“The anticipation of what the judge is going to decide,” he said. “I was sweating.”
DeMuth has been showing since he was 9. His siblings participated in livestock shows before him.
His father, Chris DeMuth, has been the head of Blackwell’s FFA program for 28 years and said he was proud of his son.
“Colt has had a tremendous year, not just at shows, a tremendous year,’ Chris said. “We’re exceptionally proud and couldn’t ask for a better way for a fine young man to go out at the Northwest Junior Livestock Show.”
Colton’s mother, Lynn DeMuth, said it was a good end to her son’s livestock show career.
“It’s very exciting. It’s a great way to cap off a senior year and career,” she said. “We’ve been watching him since he was itty bitty.”
Colton said he purchased his crossbreed steer from Grell Cattle Co. in Braman last year, toward the end of March and the first of April. At the time, the steer was 6 or 7 months old and weighed between 400 and 500 pounds.
“Now, he’s weighing roughly 1,380,” Colton said. “We figured to takes about $1,000 a year to feed a steer.”
There’s a simple formula for raising such a fine animal — hard work.
“You’ve got to feed them two times a day, every day at the same time of day,” Colton said. “You have to break it first.”
Grooming the animal for shows also is a key.
“The first time you clip them it takes about three hours,” he said. “I had him in the chute about an hour and a half before I went in. I had to get him all blown out.”
Friday’s win was the second time Colton will go the premium sale.
Following graduation, Colton plans on attending Oklahoma State University and majoring in agricultural economics.
Colton grinned when asked if he had a place picked out for this grand champion trophy.
“I’m sure I can find a good spot for it.”
This year’s show began Wednesday with sheep and lambs. Cattle judging was Friday, with hogs shown today and Sunday. The premium sale is Monday. Last year’s premium sale garnered $121,000. There are 881 exhibitors showing 2,020 entries.