The 2018 Calgary Stampede saw Bienfait resident Cody Lafrentz win the Junior Steer Classic with his steer Lucky Strike.
“This was my seventh year competing at the Calgary Stampede,” said Lafrentz.
“Unfortunately it will be my last year showing in Calgary because I’ve aged out of the competition now that I’m 22.”
Although his time in the junior competitions has come to an end, Lafrentz says he plans to continue raising and showing cattle, and would like to continue working on his family farm in the future.
“I’ll probably just keep showing cattle with my family, but it will have to be at open competitions, I’ve got an older brother that has aged out of the junior competitions as well,” said Lafrentz.
“A lot goes into getting them ready for show, usually about 90 days before you have them in the barn around 5:30 in the morning and you don’t leave until 10:30 at night, you have to rinse them twice a day and keep them fed, you have to make sure they have a good finish and weight on them with a nice coat of hair.”
Currently in his last year of post-secondary schooling at Kansas State University, Lafrentz admits he’s not entirely sure where he will end up after finishing school.
”I’m studying animal science with a production option, this will be my fourth year. I’m not 100 per cent sure yet what I want to do after school yet, Ill probably end up back on the family farm and use what I’ve learned in school there,” said Lafrentz.
More than 60 competitors were placed into 10 separate classes, and showed their steer at the Nutrien Western Event Centre at the stampede on July 15. The final round of competition featured two competitors from each class facing off before two judges. Four young people who showed off their cattle and sheep left the competition with large prizes including cash and scholarships as part of the Stampede livestock youth program. There was a total of $160,000 in prizes available.
“There were a lot of good steers at this years competition, probably the highest quality I’ve seen since I started showing cattle so I was definitely nervous,” said Lafrentz.
“It was kind of sad day for me being my last competition, I started showing cattle when I was seven years old, my whole families life has been raising and showing cattle, but at the same time it takes a lot of work to get the steers ready to win, so its kind of a bittersweet feeling to be done.”
Winning his final competition Lafrentz took home the grand prize of $5,000 cash and $12,000 in scholarship funds. Reserve Grand Champion, Devon Scott, from Arrowwood, Alta. won $3,000 cash and $8,000 in scholarship funds.
There were also two new $1,000 scholarships awarded at this years competition with Shelby Bygrove receiving the Digital Networking Scholarship and Spencer McMillin receiving the Herdsman Scholarship.
“I just like meeting new people, and going to the shows and always coming home learning something new,” said Lafrentz. “Plus you meet a lot of people that are role models to look up to, you make friends at every show,” said Lafrentz.