Fairs & Festivals

Heifers take center stage at the Manatee County Fair Friday

PALMETTO -- Carly Yero was born ready.

Yero, 11 and a student at Oneco's Community Christian School, was ready to show her heifer, Pumpkin, at the Manatee County Fair's Youth Livestock Show.

"Pumpkin is ready," she said Friday. "I've been ready."

Class by class, competitors of all ages stood in the ring in the fair's Mosaic Arena, showing their heifers to the judges.

In Class 4, 15-year-old Harley Wade, a Braden River High School student, was told by the judge that his 10-month-old heifer, Rebel, would be the model female cattle for the rest of the night. Wade went on to win place first in the class.

"It is a big boost in confidence, you know," Wade said. "It makes me feel a lot better later on in the finals and all that. I've worked really hard on her, trying to get her

to this point, working her, her hair, grooming her, washing her. I am proud of her."

Clay Wingate, along with his sister, Casey, swept the Class 1 showing category by placing first and second, respectively. Casey, who has been showing at the fair for 10 years, was happy to see her hard work pay off.

"It's a lot of fun at times, but very long, hard days," said Casey as she put away 5-month-old Bunny after Friday's showing.

Before showing in Class 3, Palmetto High School student Dannie Glassburn, 15, blew the sand off Little Bit and made her hair look nice.

Showing Little Bit is Glassburn's favorite part of the show.

"I like showing the animal because it gives you a learning ability to help others, like younger people," she said.

Ellie Trammell, 4-H Leader of Myakka Allstock, was helping her 12-year-old daughter, Lexie, get her heifer, Hottie, ready before Friday's show.

Trammell said the pre-show preparation is the most stressful part and once they are in the ring, her nerves settle. On Friday, she was especially nervous because it was Lexie's first time showing in the intermediate category.

"This is what they wait to do all year," Trammell said. "I just want to see her do her best and have fun. This is what she lives to do."

Claire Aronson, University Parkway/Sarasota reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7024 or at caronson@bradenton.com. Follow her on Twitter @Claire_Aronson.