Outsider’s owner, Lane Konrad, explains the one to two hour process of preparing a steer for the show ring:
After a proper washing at the wash racks in the ag barns, Outsider is combed and blown dry with a special blow dryer. Clipping and blow drying is strategic.
“I want to make the legs look thicker and bigger-boned,” says 19-year-old Konrad from Abbotsford, B.C.
The steer is intentionally clipped a bit closer up front (head, chest) with thicker hair left in the back of the animal. According to Lane, this is done “…to give the illusion of ‘meat’…” The finishing touches to Outsider include the application of Pink Oil to shine up the hooves.
And while the outside of the animal matters a great deal in the show ring, it can largely be a reflection of the steer’s inner health. So, diet is important. Lane Konrad feeds Outsider a blend of beet pulp, oats and corn in addition to his daily intake of hay. The overall goal for preparing the show-ready steer for the UFA Steer Classic is to optimize the conformation and demonstrate the health of the animal. And Konrad succeeded. He and Outsider placed fourth in the Simmental Class (190) at this year’s UFA Steer Classic event.
You don’t have to come from a large cattle operation to participate and be successful showing steers. It is a hobby for Lane Konrad and his family. But it still requires the drive and interest of a young competitor. This is Lane’s 10th year in 4-H and he credits that experience for his success at the 2014 Calgary Stampede.
“I really like the high calibre of the competitors at the UFA Steer Classic, “ says Lane. “This is my first experience competing at the Calgary Stampede and it has been a great learning experience. I look forward to coming back again!”