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Youth look forward to annual sale

The hard work of several Lincoln County youth will pay offSaturday when they participate in the Sale of Champions at theLincoln County Multi-Use Complex.

During the past year, the young people, ranging in age from 9-15years old, have spent hours every day preparing their livestock forthe annual event.

“It’s a daily routine because you have to keep themconditioned,” said Jake St. Amant, one of the 4-H youth involved inshowing and selling livestock.

In order to win awards, ribbons, money and other prizes, the4-H’ers must strive to have their livestock in the best shape fromhead to hoof. The show, which begins at 9 a.m., also plays a bigrole in Saturday night’s sale.

“The order of the sale will go by however the animals place inthe show,” said Betsy Haley, a 14-year-old who shows marketsteers.

During the show, the young people’s cattle and lambs will bejudged for breed characteristics, body length, stance, overallprofile and body thickness.

The youth have already started getting jitters about the eventbecause of its importance.

“I always get nervous before the shows. Everybody gets nervous,”said Cassie St. Amant, 9, who has been showing cattle for twoyears.

After the show, the animals will then be cleaned up once againand presented to public around 7 p.m. during an auction that isvery beneficial to the youth.

“It’s a pretty important day,” said 12-year-old Trey Hebert. “Weuse the money from the sale for feed, show supplies, new cattle,and some of it goes toward college.”

During the 2000 Sale of Champions, over $25,000 was raisedthrough the sale of animals and other donations. Over 300 membersof the community are usually on hand to support the event.

The annual event is the highlight of the year for many of theyouth as their dedication to the daily routine of grooming andfeeding their animals will pay off.

Over the past year, the daily chores of these 12 members of theLincoln County 4-H include a variety of tasks.

Every day the children wash, condition and dry the coat of eachof their animals. This is done so the animals will grow plenty ofhair, which can add points during judged events.

“The more the better because the hair helps hide any faults,”said Haley.” It’s like an optical illusion.”

The hair of the animals must be taken care throughout the yearfor different shows the youth participate in around the country.Even the lambs, with their coats of wool, get specialattention.

“Before a show, you have to take all the wool off them, but youcan’t clip the hair off that’s on their face and legs,” said SydneyHaley, 10, about the process of taking care of her lamb’s coat.

The 12 young people are eagerly anticipating Saturday’s events,then a trip to the Dixie Nationals in Jackson in a few weeks. Theydo not mind the countless hours spent with their animals because tothem it’s worth it.

“I’ve been doing this for two or three years now cause I thinkit’s fun,” said 10-year-old Preston Hebert, who shows steers.

Most of the children developed their love for animals when theywere toddlers. The traditions have been handed down from theirparents.

“My parents showed cows whenever they were my age and I was justraised in a show barn,” said Jake St. Amant.