Though not the Grand Champion prize he was aiming for, Wacey Townsend’s Angus Champion award earned at the Calgary Stampede UFA Steer Classic earlier this month is still “very rewarding”, he feels.
“It’s a great award,” he said. “It’s not the one that I wanted, but you’ve got to take what you can get.”
Townsend, 14, participated in the July 12 show’s Angus class, as he felt it was the one in which his steer would stand the best chance of winning.
His success earned him $1,000 in cash, which he plans to invest in another steer. That financial reward, he feels, was merited by countless hours of hard work he’s put into preparing the steer over the past several months.
“I’ve had my calf since February, so from February to July, it’s been in the barn every day from six o’clock in the morning until nine o’clock at night,” he said.
Townsend participates in shows all over Canada and the United States, and says he has travelled everywhere from “Houston, British Columbia, to Houston, Texas”.
It was along those travels he picked up his award-winning steer.
“I show all over the United States, and I heard from another person that this guy had a really good steer, so I got in contact with him and said I want that steer whatever it costs,” he said. “You never know what you’re gonna get; he might look really good as a baby, and then maybe when he gets big, he might not look so good.
“I just had a good feeling about this one all the way along. He was one of a kind.”
Travelling from show to show keeps Townsend steadily occupied not just throughout the summer months, but for a large part of the year.
His family owns and operates Lone Star Angus near Camp Woods west of Sylvan Lake, and often travels to shows with him. His older sister, Dakota, 18, is also part of the showing circuit.
The siblings are sixth generation ranchers, and Wacey Townsend has plans to extend the family tradition even further by one day purchasing a farm in the United States and “becoming one of the biggest steer traders around”.
A member of Red Deer West 4-H Beef Club, he considers himself a rancher through and through.
“It’s just having the adrenaline rush of winning, meeting new people and travelling to all these places,” he said.
Complete results from the Stampede show are as follows: Grand Champion – Megan McLeod, Cochrane, Alta., Reserve – Cody Lafrentz, Bienfait, Sask.; Open Champion – Cody Lafrentz, Bienfait, Sask., Reserve – Lacy Schmitz, Bienfait, Sask.; Junior Champion – Brady Scott, Eastend, Sask., Reserve – Chase Miller, Cremona, Alta.; Angus Champion – Wacey Townsend, Sylvan Lake, Alta., Reserve – Shannon Eaton, Lloydminster, Alta.; Charolais Champion – Megan McLeod, Cochrane, Alta., Reserve – Shannon Eaton, Lloydminster, Alta.; Hereford Champion – Cody Lafrentz, Bienfait, Sask., Reserve – Terra Chalack, Carstairs, Alta.; Simmental Champion – Toby Noble, Lloydminster, Alta., Reserve – Mark Phillips, Denfield, Ont.; Speckle Park Champion – Wranada Farms, New Sarepta, Alta., Reserve – Barry Ducherer, Neilburg, Sask.