Cowtown’s reputation for doing folks right during the Stock Show isn’t just a nationwide thing; it’s international.
Consider, for example, that people from ranches in eight countries were present for Sunday’s Hereford Champion of the World presentation, said Stefan Marchman, the Stock Show’s livestock show manager.
“There are seven national shows here this year,” Marchman said. “This may be the first year to have that many.”
Members of livestock breeder associations compete in annual shows that focus on and reward success. This year, associations that brought their championship competitions here include Semmental, shorthorn and shorthorn plus, Hereford and polled Hereford, Santa Gertrudis, Charolais, Maine Anjou and Dorper sheep.
Choosing what larger event will host their shows can be a matter of location, but other factors influence it, too.
Stephanie Behrens explained the Stock Show’s popularity among livestock exhibitors as her daughter, Meredith, 15, accepted a grand champion ribbon earned by one of the shorthorns the family hauled here from Colbert, Okla.
“This is the best show on the planet,” Behrens said. “It’s fun, it’s clean, and it’s safe. This lets our Oklahoma kids experience what a true stock show is.”
In his 10th year as a livestock show superintendent, John Aughinbaugh said he gets a kick out of seeing more and more diversity among the competitors each year.
“It kind of makes Fort Worth the place to be,” Aughinbaugh said. “Our show is highly acclaimed by all the exhibitors. Having seven national shows here is proof of that.”
And Marchman said it looks like it’s only going to get better.
“Next year, we’ll get the National Red Angus Show,” he said. “The first of their national shows was here 10 or 15 years ago. It’s a pretty big show, now.”
Marchman compared the increase of national and international livestock events at the Stock Show with “Texas Motor Speedway drawing professional drivers from all over, or the national football championship games played at AT&T. These [exhibitors] grease the wheels of commerce. They bring big strings of animals and lots of people to work them. They’re all eating here, buying gas, staying in hotels. We continue to make the Fort Worth Stock Show the marquee place to exhibit your livestock.”
What the Stock Show does for exhibitors is, well, just about anything that can be done to improve their experiences, Marchman said. Facilities like the Kit and Charlie Moncrief Building and the attached W.R. Watt Arena not only give exhibitors clean and safe environments in which to show their animals, but also provide stalls that accommodate signs and other displays that put their family’s business where folks can see.
“It creates excellent marketing opportunities for them,” Marchman said. “Fort Worth has always been a very friendly place for people who want to show animals. They want to come here for the experiences that their grandparents had.”