FORT WORTH — Here I Am indeed.A European crossbred steer shown by Flint Newman, confidently sporting the name Here I Am, was named grand champion Friday afternoon at the Fort Worth Stock Show.Flint, an 18-year-old senior at Stanton High School, is something of an old hand at winning; he showed the reserve champion last year in Fort Worth and had the 2011 grand champion in San Antonio.“I’m so excited,” said Flint, a member of the Martin County 4-H Club in Stanton, a small town between Big Spring and Midland on Interstate 20. “You finally got ’er done!” shouted one woman as she enfolded Flint in a big hug. “Yes, but he was back there throwing up all morning,” said his mother Mandy Newman. “That [previous wins] doesn’t take away the nerves. There’s a lot of pressure on these kids. You work for it all year, and it comes down to this.”Flint wants to be a cattleman, and he hasn’t really decided yet what college he wants to attend. The decision should be easier after this weekend’s big payday.Here I Am, wearing a coal black coat and tipping the scale at 1,335 pounds, will lead off the annual Sale of Champions on Saturday and will command a six-figure price. Last year’s grand champion was sold to the Happy Davis Foundation for $205,000.Flint, showing last year’s runner-up, took home $105,000 at the sale.The sale in the West Arena will feature almost 300 head of livestock, including steers, barrows, lambs and goats. Last year the animals sold for a record $3.1 million.Friday’s victory by Here I Am marked the 32nd consecutive year that a European crossbred was named grand champion at the Stock Show.A veteran in CowtownFlint has shown half his life — eight steers in nine years — at the Stock Show.The Newmans’ daughter Dakota, now 23, also showed steers for nine years in Fort Worth, and had the grand champion in Houston in 2005.More than a dozen friends and family members posed behind Here I Am for the commemorative picture after the big announcement.The family business is raising show steers, explaining why Here I Am is not a native Texan, having been purchased “from a guy in Oklahoma,” said dad Kevin Newman.Flint, described by his mother as “more of a worker than a talker,” spared no detail in explaining why Here I Am did the trick this year.“It’s just how square his ass is, how big his top is, he’s really big boned,” Flint said.‘Thinking about winning’Jayton Cogburn, 14, of Eastland, showed reserve champion Domino, a 16-month-old European crossbred weighing 1,339 pounds. Jayton said he didn’t really expect to get reserve champion, and it dawned on him that it might happen 30 minutes before it did.“I started out thinking about winning,” he said. “I was worried all the time about [Flint Newman’s calf]. He’s just as good as mine. It could have gone either way.”Jayton who is homeschooled, plans to go to Texas Tech or Oklahoma State after graduation.His best finish at Fort Worth before this one was second place in his class in 2009.Jayton lives on a small farm in Eastland with his father, Jason, mother, Laurie, and brother, Justin, 19.Big day for hogs, tooThe grand champion barrow was shown by by Clair McCormick, 13, of Canyon.“I was a little surprised,” McCormick said of her victory with Si, a a 7-month-old, 270-pound crossbred.This is the second major show she’s won, after the Denver National Western last year. Her parents are Jay and Channing.The reserve grand champion barrow is 7-month-old, 270-pound Mikey, a Hampshire shown by Haven Wisdom, 11, of Levelland.“I expected to place, but I didn't expect reserve grand champion,” Haven said.Both hogs will be sold at Saturday’s sale. Last year’s grand champion barrow sold for a record $55,000. Staff writer Terry Evans contributed to this report.
Shirley Jinkins, 817-390-7657 Twitter: @shirljinkins