Judging team wins stock show

Maclaine Shults (bottom left), Stacey Fitzgibbons (bottom right), coach Clint Shults (top left) and Clay Carlson (top right) of New Raymer won a national title in livestock judging at the National Western Stock Show held last week in Denver. The team beat 12 other teams from across the country to qualify for the Highland National Contest in Scotland this coming June. The team won four divisions, placed second in another and earned a fifth place finish in another.

MEEKER I The Colorado FFA Reserve Champion Livestock Judging team of Maclaine Shults, Stacey Fitzgibbons and Clay Carlson (New Raymer FFA) beat 12 other FFA teams from all over the country last Saturday and brought home the FFA chapter’s first national contest championship. It was fun to beat teams from the likes of Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Nebraska, Texas, Oklahoma and of course Wyoming, the traditional FFA powerhouse states which set the bar across the nation.
The Colorado team earned the spot to compete at this national contest (which has been hosted by the NWSS for the last 91 years) last May when they finished second at the Colorado FFA Career Development Events Contest held at Colorado State University.
Up until a week prior to the contest it wasn’t looking too good for the Meeker FFA team as personal conflicts left two open spots on the team. Maclaine and Stacey would be allowed to compete as individuals but they would not have enough hands to compete for any of the team awards.
However, after careful inspection of the contest rules and state FFA regulations, Maclaine and Stacey were granted permission by state FFA advisor Kenton Ocshner to recruit an FFA member from Colorado to fill at least the third opening. They called Clay Carlson, he talked it over with his folks and advisor, signed on and Colorado was loaded for bear. And they bagged him in fine fashion (out in the open, not in his den).
They won sheep, swine, reasons and placings and were second as a team in beef. But the whole trip was predicated on their fifth place team finish in the goat division. That ribbon hung on the rearview mirror all the way home for the skier traffic to admire.
Vicky Hamilton has already been commissioned to weave angora vests and long underwear for the team to wear in dreary old Scotland when they compete at the Highland National Contest in June.
Individually, Maclaine was the high individual overall, Clay was second and Stacey placed ninth. Clay won reasons, Maclaine was third and Stacey was fourth. Maclaine won placings and Clay was third. Maclaine was second in beef. Clay won sheep, Maclaine was second. Stacey was second in swine and Maclaine was fourth. But, once again the goat division was the icing on the cake, Stacey was 13th, Clay was 20th and Maclaine 21st out of 52 individuals.
Now, the kids have to raise a little money to row over to Scotland. A consequence of winning this contest, which no one was aware of beforehand, was an invitation to compete at the Highland National Livestock Exposition held in Scotland this June. So, if you see the team washing cars, fixing fence, raffling hogs and beef and their coaches pole dancing downtown for tips you’ll know why.

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