SAN ANTONIO - The title of Grand Champion Steer was given at the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo Friday, and with it came the opportunity to earn six figures worth of scholarship money.
With a slap by the judge, 11-year-old Aven Horn, from Abilene, was the winner with her mixed-breed named Prince. She beat out some stiff competition.
The 32 finalists lined up with their animals on the floor of the AT&T Center, showing the best of the herd after out-of-state-judges culled from more than 1,300 contestants.
"I don't think you can put it in words how much it means to these kids," said John Henderson, livestock chairman.
Besides the pride, last year's grand champion earned $105,000 after their steer went to a charity auction.
Horn's steer will go to the highest bidder at 10 a.m. Saturday in the auction barn.
The Future Farmers of America and 4-H members each personally raise their stock, waking up early to feed them and clean them.
Henderson said the judges look for many attributes, including how wide the steer is, how much fat is on the frame and even how it walks. All of these are indicators that the animal is ready for market.
Caring for Prince since he was about 6 months old, Horn said she loves the 2-year-old steer and is sad he will now go to slaughter.
"It's life yes, yes, just thankful that I got to have him," Horn said.
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