As he watched his younger sister parade her bucket calf around the show arena at Riverside Park Wednesday, Colton Riebel couldn’t help but think back a year, when he was doing much the same.
At the time, Riebel was showing the calf he had worked with for about six months, earning reserve championship in the process.
“I liked working with him, so I figured I’d show him again this year,” Riebel said.
Fast forward 12 months. Riebel, showing the same animal — now a market steer — earned a blue ribbon for his showmanship. The 1,030-pound behemoth earned a red ribbon.
“I was hoping he’d be a bit bigger,” Riebel said.
Riebel will complete his project by selling his steer at the 4-H and FFA Lions Club Livestock Premium Auction tonight.
The four-year Allen County Fair participant had sold hogs previously, but had not developed the emotional bond with swine as he did with his steer.
“It’s going to be hard to say goodbye,” he said, recalling the hours he’d spent working with the animal since it was a calf.
There wasn’t much of a secret to getting the animal to heed his commands, Riebel said. Just hours and hours of working with the steer on a daily basis. Getting the animal to lead was the most difficult chore, he noted.
“I still had time to goof off, though,” Riebel said with a grin.
Riebel, 11, also has taken time to work with younger sister, Madison, a first-year 4-H member with a bucket calf.
Colton spent time explaining to his sister the different parts of the calf as well as how to lead the animal, the children’s father, Rocky Riebel, said. “He helped her a lot.”
LOCAL auctioneers again will donate their services for the 7 p.m. livestock sale.
Prices paid include a premium for each animal. The base bid, or starting point, for animals is set by today’s market price. The buyer then pays the owner the premium and may retain the animal by also paying the base bid amount. Those who don’t want the animal may let it go to market by paying only the premium.
A fund accumulated from donations will add money for premiums for animals that sell short of expectations.
Members of the Iola Lions Club again will be on hand to assist with a number of functions.