Kennedy Arthur, a Payne County 9-year-old, has grown up around cattle for as long as she can remember, and showing cattle has been a tradition in her family.
She said her brother Kelton has shown a variety of animals, and even though they don’t always get along, she looks up to him.
Arthur spent the past several months preparing her Shorthorn heifer, Nikl Blue Charm, for the 2021 National Junior Shorthorn Show and Youth Conference in June.
Nikl Blue Charm is the registered name for Arthur’s heifer, but her barn name is Lenny.
Arthur took home some big awards, winning her class and then was selected as the Division V Champion heifer before being selected as the Reserve Grand Champion ShorthornPlus heifer of the entire show.
Arthur said she worked at least three months preparing Lenny for this competition.
“You can’t really just say, ‘OK, we’re going to go to this show three days before it happens,’ because you’ve gotta work the cattle all day every day,” she said.
A few of the things she said they look for is making sure the heifer doesn’t lose hair, making sure they stay healthy and making sure they don’t get too hot. Arthur said it takes months to prepare them for big shows like this, with a lot of work and effort.
Arthur said she is close with, Lenny which is important for winning shows, but being too close can pose a problem.
“You don’t want them to be freaked out, but you also don’t want to get too bonded with them cause then they will start head butting you and playing with you … you don’t want your calf headbutting you while you’re in the ring, trying to show,” she said.
Arthur is the daughter of Jerrod and Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture, Blayne Arthur.
Blayne Arthur said the competition her daughter participated in also acted as a youth leadership development event.
“So kids come from every state that have shorthorn cattle, and this year I think there were probably over 30 states,” Blayne Arthur said. “The kids work on their cattle kind of leading up to that event, so they’re kind of gearing towards that particular event.”
Blayne Arthur said Kennedy showed against people much older than her, some being 21, which was a challenge, but she still came out on top.
Kennedy took home other awards besides the awards for showing her heifer. She also placed in the speech category, salesmanship, showmanship and cattlemen’s quiz.
Kennedy said winning all of these awards is hard to explain because it’s such a surprise.
“It just feels so good to know that you did good and your heifer did good, it’s just really hard to explain honestly,” she said.
Heifers aren’t the only animals that Arthur has shown, she has also shown sheep, which she said is just as challenging, and she enjoys showing both equally.
In the future, Kennedy hopes to be a veterinarian for both big and small animals, and follow in the footsteps of her aunt.
Kennedy plans to continue showing cattle for as long as she can because she said she loves everything about it and it’s fun.
“That hard work pays off, it’s such a good feeling. And sometimes it’s fun because you meet friends over showing cattle,” Kennedy said. “You can meet so many different people and there’s so many good people there.”