FORT WORTH -- On Thursday, Cuatro Schauer showed two steers at the Bee County Fair; they took grand champion and reserve grand champion honors.
Less than 24 hours later, after a late-night drive from South Texas to Fort Worth, another of Schauer's steers was named grand champion in the Junior Steer Show at the Fort Worth Stock Show on Friday, capping a dominating run by the high school senior from Beeville.
Schauer's yellow heavyweight European crossbred, named Spider Monkey, was a favorite of the judge, who declared it "market-ready right now."
It was the 30th consecutive Fort Worth show with a European crossbred as grand champion.
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"I couldn't ask for a better way to go out," said Schauer, who can no longer show animals because he is 18 and graduating.
The reserve grand champion was a pure-black European crossbred shown by Stock Martin, 11, from the small town of Vega in the Panhandle.
"It was a little surreal," Martin said. "I don't know what to think, but I've been dreaming of this since I first came here, which I think was when I was a baby."
The two steers will lead off the Sale of Champions at 9 a.m. today in the West Arena. The sale will also feature the grand and reserve champion goats, lambs, barrows and more than 200 of the best-placing steers.
Last year's sale generated $2.9 million for the youths, including $185,000 to Landry Barton of O'Donnell, who showed the grand champion steer.
More than 2,800 steers were entered in this year's junior show, the capstone of the 23-day Stock Show, which ends today.
Before a packed Watt Arena, steer show judge Kevin Jensen spoke highly of each breed champion. Then he got to Schauer's 1,328-pound animal: "There's not much more you can say. He's your champion."
Schauer said it felt "amazing" to win it all after showing for six years in Fort Worth.
"It takes a lot of hard work, but it also takes a good animal to win," he said.
Winning is not new for Schauer, though. The young man is a veritable agriculture dynasty.
At any number of shows, his steers, goats and lambs have been named grand champion.
At the Bee County Fair on Thursday, he showed not only the top two steers but also the grand champion lamb and goat. Last fall at the State Fair of Texas, he showed the grand champion goat. A couple of years ago, he showed the grand champion lamb at the State Fair.
At the Fort Worth show last week, he showed a goat that finished third.
In other words, he's got an eye for quality and he is dedicated to working with the animals, his parents said.
"He gave up sports when he was about 12 years old because he wanted to spend 100 percent of his time showing animals," said his father, Fred Schauer.
Schauer, not surprisingly, intends to pursue a career in animal science and hopes to attend Texas A&M University. But for the time being, he and his family intended to celebrate their win at Del Frisco's Double Eagle steakhouse Friday night.
Martin, a fifth-grader and member of the Oldham County 4-H Club, knew that his 1,275-pound European crossbred, Woodpecker, had a shot at winning. He is part of a ranching family that is literally living in a barn while a new house is built.
"We eat, sleep and breathe cattle," said his mother, Sherri Martin. "It's all we do."
Stock Martin became hooked on showing cattle when he won in Denver when he was 5. Since then, his mother said, keeping him motivated hasn't been difficult.
"You never have to tell him to do anything," she said. "He's always out there. He loves being with them."
The Martins always wanted to win the Stock Show and said Friday's reserve grand champion prize has done little to quench that desire. They have an 8-year-old daughter, Saige, who also shows livestock.
"We always wanted to win in Fort Worth," Sherri Martin said. "It's the big one. But we'll be coming back to win it all."
Chris Vaughn, 817-390-7547