Steer competition at Tulsa State Fair

Friday, October 5th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Livestock and children have always been important out at the Tulsa State Fair. For one girl from Rogers County - getting ready for the fair took a full year, but the job ended Thursday morning.

News on Six reporter Emory Bryan has her story. “Are you ready to work with the steers?" 8th grader Roxanne Gebhart is already a veteran of the cattle show circuit - and she doesn't mind the work. It's lots of long hours, training a steer to walk on a halter, stop and pose for a judge. "Good boy Tater." Her best steer is named "Tater." He's 1,200 pounds of muscle - but she's learned to handle him. "You just have to be patient with them and if you're not yeh it's going to take a while."

Roxanne spends hours carefully walking and prodding "Tater" - making him stand correctly by alternately stepping on his hooves then scratching the back of them. "You want to get the back one on your side up a little further the one on the judges side." All the polish planned for the ring takes a lot of preparation - and hair spray - and combing. And all the leg hair you want to go up, because it makes them look like they have more bone.

At the Rogers County Fair - Roxanne gets Tater ready for Septthe ring, an event that came just a few days after the attacks on New York City and Washington DC. The animals are prepped for the ring as usual, with extra patriotic touches added. "Get ready to help out the youth of Rogers County." Roxanne's steer took first place - the grand champion, for the third time. At a premium auction - where the animal doesn't actually change hands, she earned $1,500.

Two weeks later - at the Tulsa State Fair, she hoped for a blue ribbon - but ended up third in her class. "I was just trying to show him the best I could." Susan Gebhart, Roxanne's Mother: "He did ok, he did third in his class and these are big classes and people don't bother bringing a calf here that isn't a good one." She ended up with a white ribbon - and a keepsake photo from the grand champion of Oklahoma livestock shows - the Tulsa State Fair.

Kylie Price of Inola also showed her steers. Her Saler steer was the reserve champion.