Faith Shuckburgh won the buckle for the Reserve Champion Maintainer Female for her cow Dolly, winning second overall female in the Maintainer category of the 45th Anniversary National Maine Anjou Show at the Farmfair International 2015, held at Edmonton Expo Centre, Nov. 11-15.
“Our family has shown in the Maine Anjou show at Farmfair almost every year since its inception, starting with my Grandpa Doug Shuckburgh,” said Faith Shuckburgh. “Shuckburgh Cattle is our farm name and we are the breeder of Dolly, and the Reserve Grand Champion Maine Anjou Bull, as well as the mother of the Grand Champion Maine Anjou female for Farmfair 2015 and we are proud to be able to sell animals or genetics to other breeders that can become champions.”
Each year Shuckburgh shows four to seven animals, but this year she only managed to show one because she was unable to attend all six days of the show.
“I picked Dolly as a calf last June as my heifer to show at Westerner Days in Red Deer, which is a show that I have shown in every year since I was 6, except one,” said Shuckburgh. “I fed her a proper ration of feed to bring her to the place she needed to be as a show animal.”
Knowing all the intricacies of the trade, Shuckburgh is intuitive with what is expected at the competition.
“The judges like to see a nicely fattened animal that is also very correct and is able to be a great momma cow someday and Dolly is a bred heifer, which means she will have her first baby in the spring,” explained Shuckburgh. “I spend hours washing and combing her throughout the year so that she stays looking good for the next show.”
Speaking of her feed patterns and other daily routine as to her maintenance, Shuckburgh said, “She also goes out on grass during the summer and just gets special feed for a few months before a show, so her coat will look really nice as well as the right amount of meat on her body.”
Showing cattle involves a lot of work, which Shuckburgh has had to put in.
“I give her regular washing and combing for a couple of months before a show, and she also gets a clip job so that her hair is not hiding how good she looks, but instead enhancing it, added Shuckburgh. “Dolly is a lot like a supermodel, she needs to eat properly, however, a whole lot more and get groomed for a few hours before a show, I even have to give her lots of positive affirmations in the show ring.”
Shuckburgh knows what it takes to compete in shows like these and has been trained well from a young age.
“It takes a lot of help to get an animal ready for a big show like Farmfair, and we have many friends that help along the way,” said Shuckburgh.
Not one to miss school, since this year she was only able to be in Edmonton for two days, John Dolliver took her cow Dolly up to Farmfair, and fed and watered and combed her every day, while their other friends, the Konrad boys also helped to groom and look after her.
“When the time comes for the show, we “fit” the animal, which means groom her to look really great, so I got help from John and the Konrad to fit her,” said Shuckburgh.
Speaking of her first time, Shuckburgh said, “I have enjoyed showing since the first year I did it at age six.”