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Published February 15, 2019
The University of Wyoming livestock judging team notched its highest finish in 30 years at the National Western Stock Show (NWSS) in January and finished in the top five at two other contests so far this spring season.
“It’s a great start to the season for the 2019 team, and they are one of the best teams in the country,” says Caleb Boardman, livestock judging coach.
The team finished fourth at the NWSS out of 26 universities. It was second in the sheep and goat division, fifth in beef cattle and overall reasons, and eighth in swine.
UW had two members finish in the top 10 out of 123 contestants. Logan Despain, of Laramie, placed fifth overall and seventh in beef cattle, and Shanan Davey, from Olathe, Colo., finished ninth overall and second in sheep and goats. Zackery Schumaker, of Sweet Springs, W.Va., finished third in sheep and goats, and Tiffaney Connelly, from Bridgeport, Neb., finished ninth in the carload judging contest.
The team finished third out of 13 teams and was only 12 points short of winning at the Sioux Empire Livestock Show in Sioux Falls, S.D. The team finished second in beef cattle and swine, fourth in sheep and goats, and third in overall reasons.
“We were disappointed to be so close and not be able to get a win, but third was still a great finish for our team,” Boardman says.
UW had two team members in the top 10 out of 71 contestants. Davey finished second overall, third in sheep and goats, seventh in reasons and 10th in swine. Despain finished seventh overall and second in beef cattle. Connelly finished seventh in sheep and goats, and Schumaker tied for 10th in swine.
UW was named highest overall team out of three at the Heart City Bull Bash in Valentine, Neb. This was an all-cattle contest and the first year for the contest. The team was first in placings and reasons.
Schumaker won high individual overall and total placings, and placed second in reasons. Despain was second overall and total placings, and first in reasons. Davey was fourth overall and fifth in placings and reasons. Alexis Wivell, from Smock, Pa., finished fifth overall.
“The team has worked extremely hard since starting up in December,” Boardman says. “We have traveled over 8,000 miles, judged over 1,000 animals in 250-plus classes and given countless sets of reasons. I’m extremely impressed with the team’s work ethic and willingness to put in long days to get better.”
The team, also coached by undergraduate assistant Laurel Rigby, will finish the spring season at the San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo at the end of February and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in March.