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Benson 4-H hosts successful King of the Prairies Open Steer and Heifer Jackpot

The Benson 4-H Club hosted their first King of the Prairies Open Steer and Heifer Jackpot in conjunction with the Energy City Ex on June 10.

ESTEVAN — The Benson 4-H Club hosted their first King of the Prairies Open Steer and Heifer Jackpot in conjunction with the Energy City Ex on June 10, bringing the fair and rodeo weekend one step closer to how it used to be back in the day.

Benson 4-H leader Brandice Petterson said even though they initially hoped for more entries, their first event of this kind went well overall.

"We originally wanted more contestants, but I think after all, it was a good number for our first time putting it on, as we didn't know what to expect. We really had never put on a show like this, so it was a new experience. And I think it went over well," Petterson said.

As the Estevan Exhibition Association is working towards bringing more components of the traditional local fair and rodeo event back, they approached Benson 4-H to see if they'd be able to assist with some kind of agricultural show. The club saw it as a good opportunity to get involved, have their members be active and also raise some money for their achievement awards and prizes.

They had nine Benson 4-H members participating and the rest of the contestants were from other areas. The competition was open to all ages and places, and some people had to come a day earlier as they had five hours of travelling. There were 21 heifers and 22 steers entered this year. Petterson noted that other events were happening in the area like the Alameda 4-H Regional Show and Sale and more that prevented some potential participants from coming. But they hope to see more people joining the event in the years to come, as they did their best to have some attractive prizes and a high-quality day.

"We tried to be able to do a decent payout to make it worth people coming on the show ... And I think we did well on the amount we fundraised for ourselves, too.

"We are going to send out a letter to our contestants, thank them for coming and [ask them for feedback]. Any activity can always use a little bit of tweaking to make it better. So, we are going to look at that, and it went over well, so I think the club would probably do it again next year," Petterson said.

Judge Levi Jackson of Sedley said the day showcased a lot of talent and there were some nice animals.

"It was a great show; the numbers were really good there. There wasn't a whole bunch, but there was certainly enough to make a quality show. The calves were really good, steers and heifers, both. And the kids were even better," Jackson said after the show.

"In showmanship, some of these kids are very good. It's always a learning experience. It does matter where you place, but what really matters is what you take away from the day and what you can do to make subtle changes to improve, to maybe have little better champs the next time you're out, especially in things like showmanship because that's not the quality of the animal, that is just your own ability.

He added that he takes a lot of time talking with the kids about little things they can do and change. He's judged major livestock shows in Denver, Fort Worth, Tex., and Louisville, Ind., and said even though it was mainly a junior show, there was a lot of potential.

"The quality of the kids was terrific. It was really good. So, they've obviously got some good parents, some good family support, that they come and do things like that," Jackson said.

Eric Fettes claimed the most prizes on the day. His steer was named the grand champion getting the owner $1,000. Lexus Zieglgansberger's steer claimed the reserved champion title ($500).

Kate Webb won the overall heifer class and took home $1,000 for that, and Darnell Fornwald was awarded $500 for second place. 

In Simmental heifer class, Jory LaBatte was first ($200), Zayne LaBatte was second ($100) and Cade Wright was third. In Hereford heifers, Lexi Connor was first ($200), Jesse Procyk was second ($100), followed by Rowyn Shier, Laine Petterson and Jayk Mitchell. In the Shorthorn heifer class, Darnell Fornwald was first ($200) and Peyton Adderly was second ($100).

In Angus heifers, Kate Webb came in first ($200), Eric Fettes was second ($100), followed Brylan Rasmuson, Matthew Howe, Rylan Fladeland, Everleigh Rasmuson, Lila Hale and Reyhan Machmer. In other breed heifer class, Emily Sebastian came in first ($200) and Delaney Sebastian was second ($100), followed by Dawson Fladeland, Jack Wright and Turner Petterson.

In the homegrown heifer class, Lexi O'Connor came in first ($250) and Emily Sebastian was second ($150).

In the lightweight steers, Eric Fettes came in first ($100) and Katie Kolenosky was second ($50), followed by Brayden Fladeland, James Pick, Haylie Petterson, Leighton Petterson and Turner Petterson. In the medium-weight steer class, Lexus Zieglgansberger was first ($100) and Darnell Fornwald was second ($50), followed by Rowyn Sheir, Peyton Adderly, Waylon Petterson, Anavay Pick and Madisyn Frischholtz.

In heavyweight steers, Eric Fettes was first ($100) and  Katie Kolenosky was second ($50), followed by Kate Webb, Lila Hale, Lane Robinson, Braxton Shier and Laine Petterson. Eric Fettes also took home both prizes in homegrown steer class ($250 and $150).

In showmanship peewee class, Jack Wright was first ($150) and Braxton Shier was second ($75). In showmanship juniors, Katie Webb was first ($150) and Delainey Sebastian was second ($75). And in showmanship senior class, Emily Sebastian came in first ($150) and Jesse Procyk was second ($75).