NJAS showmanship, best of the best

Farm Forum

The showmanship contest is one of the most highly anticipated events of the year for members of the National Junior Angus Association (NJAA). It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to represent their state as a top showman — just ask Allison Manchester, Manhattan, Kan., who now holds the top title from the 2015 National Junior Angus Show (NJAS) in Tulsa, Okla.

“Growing up I actually didn’t enjoy showmanship, because it was always at the end of the show and I was tired, but my dad always made me do it. And I am very thankful that he did,” Manchester says. “It’s been one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.”

52 showmanship contestants displayed their skills during the 2015 NJAS held July 13-18. After multiple preliminary heats and an intense final round, the top five showmen were selected.

The journey to earning one of the esteemed silver bowls, which are awarded to the top five showmen, begins in each contestant’s home state, where two juniors are selected as representatives. The top showman at the NJAS is honored with the Dean Hurlbut Award, named after the man who organized the first showmanship competition in Lexington, Ky.

Three judges evaluated the juniors on their skills while handling an animal, their ability to follow instructions, and evidence of courtesy and sportsmanship in the showring. This year’s showmanship judges were: Danielle Foster, Mount Eaton, Ohio; Amanda Schnoor, Modesto, Calif.; and John McCurry, Burrton, Kan.

Following Manchester, rounding out the top five were: second place, Will Harsh, Radnor, Ohio; third place, Kory Kovert, Crothersville, Ind.; fourth place, Reid Shipman, Manhattan, Kan.; and fifth place, Karisa Pfeiffer, Orlando, Okla.

As younger members of the NJAA look forward to their chance to compete in this prestigious event, they can take advice from one of this year’s judges: “It’s not how well you present yourself, it’s how well you present the animal,” Schnoor says. “ Do showmanship every time you’re in the ring, keep practicing and get as much ring experience and exposure as possible.”

The remaining showmen in the top 15 were awarded a pair of Andis clippers. Those showmen include: Katlyn Tunstill, Fayetteville, Ark.; Madeline Taylor, Lavaca, Ark.; Morgan Penner, Lafayette, Colo.; John Reasor, Wildwood, Ga.; Madison Butler, Vincennes, Ind.; Reese Johnson, Slaughters, Ky.; Jacob Heimsoth, Cameron, Mo.; Michelle Keyes, Springfield, Neb.; Mary Oliver, Union City, Tenn.; and Jared Radcliffe, Weston, Wis.

Additional NJAS contest placings, awards and scholarships can be found on Coverage is also available on Backdrop and candid photos, provided by Pearls Pics and Angus Media, are available for purchase online.