Oct 312004
 
Authors: Karissa Ciarlelli

This weekend CSU students have an excuse to go hog wild.

The 71st annual Little National Western will be held on Nov. 5

and 6 at CSU’s Equine Center on the Foothills Campus and the

Agricultural Research Development and Education Center, 4616

Northeast Frontage Road. These events are open to the public free

of admission and will feature 140 CSU students demonstrating their

showmanship with different animals.

The show is modeled after Denver’s National Western Stock Show

and presents horses, cattle, swine, sheep and dairy animals. It

allows students involved to get a better understanding of animal

anatomy and the agricultural industry.

“The Little National Western gives the opportunity for beginner

showmen to gain valuable experience working with animals,” said

Dallas Schleining, the committee chair for the show, and a senior

animal science and business major.

The horse show will be held at 6 p.m. Nov. 5 at the Equine

Center. The events involving cattle, swine, sheep and diary animals

will be Nov. 6 at ARDEC. This day-long event, beginning at 8 a.m.,

will open with the swine show and close with a championship round

for each species beginning at 2:30 p.m.

Three weeks before the event, each competitor is given an animal

to work with and train, said Abby Ambrose, a sophomore animal

science major and Little National Western awards chairperson. To

prepare for the competition, the student trains the animal for at

least 20 hours. Trainers “break” the animals with a halter, so that

when the student tugs on a rope, the animal will walk beside him or

her. A few graduate students have volunteered to share their

expertise and help the new trainers learn the ropes.

“The student also grooms the animal by washing, shaving,

clipping and combing to make the animal look its best,” Ambrose

said.

Grooming the animals also involves use of a large hair dryer to

make the animal appear fuller and squarer, according to Sara

Jackson, a freshman animal science major.

“It actually resembles a leaf blower more so than a hair dryer,”

Jackson said.

Jackson said her 8-month-old, 500-pound Angus calf, Lola, has

been easy to work with.

“Lola’s pretty sweet natured,” she said. “Some (calves) have

been real kickers and the trainers have to jump and dance around

them.”

Jackson explained that the initial feelings of discomfort and

fear felt by both the trainers and the animals will eventually

dissolve through continued work and experience.

“Being groomed and trained doesn’t feel natural for the animals

and initially they’ll resist it. But they’ll be a lot more willing

to accept it the second time,” Jackson said.

The show will feature both experienced and novice participants,

but novices make up about two-thirds of all competitors.

“For most of these kids, this is their first, real hands-on

experience with an animal,” Ambrose said.

The novice divisions will have three heats for each species. The

judges, consisting of the alumni members of the Department of

Animal Sciences, will judge based on showmanship and will select

two winners from each species to compete in the final

competition.

Winners will receive belt buckles and participation awards will

be handed out, Schleining said. In the faculty division, 10 faculty

members will compete for a silver bucket trophy.

Involvement in the show has increased greatly. Last year there

were only 29 participants. This year, for students in AN101, a

food/animal science course, participation in is a requirement.

“This event is huge for these kids,” Ambrose said. “This gives

them a huge insight into what their major really is.”

The show helps bring the animal science community together

because the students can meet their fellow classmates and make

friends, Ambrose said.

The event will also raffle off over $2,000 in prizes such as

belt buckles, blankets, vests and gift certificates. Donations have

been supplied by restaurants and animal corporations across

town.

“They’ve really stepped up to make this our best year yet,”

Ambrose said.

Schleining said he hopes this event will bring about more

interest in animals and livestock.

“I think there are a lot of individuals on campus who don’t know

much about livestock,” said Schleining. “I believe this event could

allow them the opportunity to gain knowledge and experience about

the livestock industry.”

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