Going to the big show

Local 4Hers travel to national stock competitions

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— Andrea Maneotis helped her sister prepare animals for the American Royal last year because she was too young to show them herself.

This year she entered the big show with her own animals.

"I was pretty excited," said the 9-year-old. "I like to show animals and it was a lot more fun than just sitting there and watching my sister do it."

Andrea and her 15-year-old sister traveled with their family to Kansas City, Mo., for the American Royal livestock show Oct. 18 to 21. It was the family's second American Royal, which is one of the nation's largest combined livestock, horse show and rodeos.

Andrea showed her goats and lambs at the county fair and then the state fair this summer. The trip to Kansas City will be one of three large shows she'll go to with this year's group of animals.

"We plan to go to the Arizona National and the National Western Stock Show this year as well," Andrea's father, Nick Maneotis, said.

To enter the show a youth must be a part of 4H or FFA. Andrea is a member of the Double Trouble chapter of 4H and Karissa is a part of FFA.

The Maneotis sisters fared well at the national show. Karissa showed three animals in the market class and all three received top-10 honors. She had a goat earn second place and two lambs finish third and 10th respectively in their classes, which are measured by breed and weight.

Andrea took four animals, two goats and two lambs. She had on goat finish fifth and the rest all finished 10th. Each class had 20 to 25 animals.

When showing in the market class, there is no age division.

Andrea didn't know if she had an advantage with the "cute factor" because she was one of the youngest, but she did think she did well.

"I think I did a pretty good job," she said. "It's hard to lead your goat sometimes, but it worked out."

Another Double Trouble 4H member was hitting the road about the same time as the Maneotis', except he was driving north.

Twelve-year-old Darren McLaughlin took five lambs to the Northern International Livestock Expo in Billings, Mont., from Oct. 15 to 21.

"It was a huge expo," he said. "I also enjoyed getting to go with my grandpa for

the trip."

His lambs finished with four seconds and one sixth. He also sold one of the lambs, which is the limit for selling nongrand or reserve champion animals.

McLaughlin has traveled to Arizona, Kentucky and Missouri to show the sheep he and his family raise on their ranch north of Craig.

"This is his thing," his mom, Kelly, said. "He really puts a lot into raising his animals and we're proud of him for what he's done."

Darren said he has learned a lot about sheep during the years.

"Each sheep has a different way about it," he said. "I've also learned not to feed a sheep wet alfalfa because they get bloated."

He's also made some friends among his animals.

"You bond with them," he said. "It's amazing to watch them grow from tiny to almost 200 pounds."

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