The largest cattle show in North Dakota, the 17th annual North Star Classic at the North Dakota Winter Show Event Center, wrapped up on Sunday, as organizers deemed it a huge success.
According to Winter Show board member Kory Sorby, the show had about 550 entries by people from five states : North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and South Dakota.
The largest increase was in the number of kids in the junior classes, Sorby said. About 217 kids entered the junior class on Sunday.
“Showmanship was incredible,” said Sorby of the number of kids in the class.
Molly Hanson was one of the kids who hoped to bring home a ribbon on Sunday. At five, the Carrington area child was one of the younger entrants. Unfortunately, she was so small, she got lost in the shuffle and didn’t get her Black Angus heifer calf Beauty into the ring. But she practiced, and she knows how to show her heifer.
The pre-schooler did gain some show experience, the day before, she accompanied her father Jory at a pen show. A pen show involves taking three cows in for judging instead of just one, then judges decide who has the best group of cattle. Molly and Jory did not win the pen show, but Jory believes they came in second.
Molly hopes to come back next year.
The number of competitors in the pen shows were up too Sorby said. One reason could be the prize amount of $2,000 for the winner.
Sorby also said the weather could have affected the number of competitors. At over 40 degrees with no snow, the weather was great for trailering cattle from a distance. Some of the competitors waited till the last minute to enter so they would know how the weather would be, office staff said.
Sorby also said several competitors simply felt safe visiting Valley City.
Sorby noted talking to a woman from Wisconsin who drove past a show that was much closer to her home because she didn’t have to lock everything up at the Valley City show like she did at other shows, said Sorby.
Sara Bratner came with her family from Menonomie, Wisc., with her two teens, Jenna and Conner. On Saturday, the kids showed three Herford heifers and got third place and a reserve champion prize for their short horn plus.
Sara likes coming to the Valley City show, though the family hasn’t had time to enjoy the extra events here like the BBQ on Thursday afternoon for vendors and competitors or the dinner show at the Eagle’s club that featured a comedian.
Darlene Lundquist, of Alsen, No. Dak. brought her daughters Darci, 20, and Jamie, 17 to show their Limousine heifers. As of Friday, Jamie had alerady won reserve limousine heifer in the open show, and the two were still set to compete in the juniors. The Lundquists did get to enjoy the BBQ, and were enjoying themselves at the show.
To prepare for the show, according to arena chairman Kevin Christensen, requires a lot of work from Winter Show staff and volunteers. In all, staff, under the direction of Nick Hoffart, set up more than 200 stalls in preparation for the show, a task that took about two weeks.
“The staff makes me look good,” said Christensen.
And to make the Winter Show Event Center look good, volunteer Kathy Schlotman decorated the Winter Show building for Christmas.