The annual Sale of Champions is one of the grandest finales at the Fort Worth Stock Show, but that’s plenty more to see and do as the show comes to an end Saturday.
If you don’t have tickets to one of Saturday’s two rodeo performances, however, you’ll need to come back next year. Both the 2 and 7:30 p.m. performances are sold out.
Here are three things worth doing on the last day:
1. Big money for top livestock
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Got a few thousand dollars you need to spend?
Then check out the Sale of Champions, the annual auction where the top winners in the junior livestock shows are sold for prices way above market value.
The sale starts at 9 a.m. in the West Arena, but get there early if you want a seat. It’s loud and fast-paced and a whole bunch of money changes hands.
Last year’s grand champion steer, Big Boy, sold for $210,000 — or $154.18 per pound — to Hillwood Properties, which is always a player in the sale.
This year’s grand champion, a healthy fella named Rocco — shown by 15-year-old Mikala Grady of Grandview — will no doubt bring six figures as well.
2. Shopping and star gazing
For the lighter side of shopping, try the Amon G. Carter Jr. and Brown-Lupton exhibits halls, where everything from boots to jewelry to all-things leather can be purchased.
If you’re strolling around in the Carter hall, be sure to stop by and visit with Buck Taylor, an artist who is best known for his role as Newly O’Brien in the longtime television Western “Gunsmoke.”
But what folks might not know is that he also had a role in last year’s “Hell or High Water,” a neo-Western set in Texas that has received four Oscar nominations. The film stars Jeff Bridges, and was written by Paschal High School graduate Taylor Sheridan.
“It’s just a cameo role,” said Taylor, 78. “It’s kind of a pro-gun movie. So I’m not sure it is going to win anything.”
Taylor offers for sale several watercolors, including many depicting scenes and fellow cast members from “Gunsmoke” and “Tombstone.”
His works include the current edition of a special poster Taylor has created for the Stock Show every year since 1996, in addition to other major rodeo and livestock event posters, including the National Finals Rodeo.
3. Another reason to dig dogs
Besides the steers and barrows, lambs and goats, there are plenty of other animals on display at the Stock Show.
Some of our favorites are the border collies that compete in the Southwestern Sheep Dog Trials.
The dogs are required to herd a trio of sheep the length of the Watt Arena with the help of their handler. The sheep must also be coerced through a chute and into a pen.
While the work comes naturally to the border collies — they were born to herd, after all — it’s the handlers’ commands, using voice and whistles, that make the event fun to watch.
The competition is at 8 a.m. in the Watt Arena.
This report contains information from Star-Telegram archives.