10 Awkward Show Ring Moments that Have Happened to Everyone

Rachel CutrerRHD Blog

In our family, well, let’s just say…my sister and I could be labeled the Queens of Awkwardness. Uncoordinated probably describes us best. We’re constantly tripping over own feet and falling face first into the sidewalk. Recently we got together and discussed all of our awkward show ring moments. And hey, if you’ve shown much, chances are you have had one of these 10 most awkward show ring moments happen to you too!

1. Dropping the show stick. 

This is not equivalent to a rap star “Dropping the mic” at the conclusion of a great song. This is more like pooping your pants as an adult. Which I have probably jinxed myself to make that happen in the near future. 

If this has ever happened to you, your only hope is to glance around and try to quickly pick the show stick back up, hoping no one else saw you. 

2. Getting your show stick stuck in the tail of the calf in front of you. 

Super awkward. It usually happens when the calf in front of you won’t walk. So, being the good sportsman you are, you gently tap their calf with your show stick. Then the end of your show stick gets stuck in the adhesive glue of their calf’s tail. It’s like you  created your own mini-circus-elephant train right there in the show ring. 

3. Getting your show stick stuck under your calf’s hoof while trying to set it up. 

UHHHH just MOVE YOUR FOOT heifer! You’re tugging and pushing and pulling while your show stick is completely suspended mid-air. Move over lazy heifer. 

4. Missing your call. 

Who me? Were you looking at me? This is typically followed by two possible scenarios. 1) You as the showman glancing back and forth at the judge frantically trying to figure out if he really pulled you or not. 2)Your mom / husband / wife / ag teacher yelling at you from outside the ring saying “SUZY GO!!! He just pulled you!!!”

5. Thinking you got called, but you didn’t, and it was actually the person ahead of you. 

The alternative scenario to #4. This one isn’t as embarrassing because hey, at least you’re trying. If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking in your head from the minute you walk in the ring “I’ve got the best calf in here!” and so you’re always ready – on point – looking for the call. You can interpret any small gesture from the judge as getting pulled. The worst is though when the judge has to vocally tell you — “Get back in line! I wasn’t calling you!” 

6. Your calf getting peed or pooped on. 

SMH. Why does this have to happen!!! It’s totally accidental. I mean, it’s not like the guy showing the calf next to you purposely plans for his calf to relieve themselves right on your perfectly fit, perfectly groomed animal. Better hope you have some paper towels handy in the make up ring!

7. Your calf riding someone else’s calf. 

Just close your eyes and imagine the awkwardness a showman has to endure when they are trying their best to hold their calf back and stop her from riding the calf in front of her! Usually, this involves digging in your cowboy boot heels, and some skidding along through the dirt. If you really have to bear down, you need to use both hands to hold the halter, which usually results in….#1. Dropping the showstick. We can all laugh about it now, but this scenario happens quite frequently for showmen who are less than 100 pounds. There’s no way those poor babies can try to hold back a heifer who’s on a mission!  It’s so embarrassing!  Your best hope is that a nice ring man will kind of stay by you and help you keep ample distance from your calf and all others in the ring. 

8. Getting stepped on, or kicked. 

Calf: BAM. 

Showman: AHHHHH. (REGAIN COMPOSURE) That. Didn’t. Hurt. 

Ringman / Mom: Are you okay???? 

Showman: Shaking head, “Oh yeah, I’m okay.” That. Didn’t. Hurt.  Didn’t hurt one bit. 

As soon as your class is over, go straight to the restroom, take down your pants, and inspect the monster bruise you will no doubt have for at least a month. 

9. Not realizing you need to pull up and fill an empty space ahead of you. 

Hey, we all zone out from time to time. Eyes glazed. Especially if you’ve been up since 2 a.m. and showing all day. 

But like that split second when you realize there’s a space about equal to half of the show ring in between you and the calf ahead of you…..Facepalm. 

And finally….

10. Running into the calf in front of you when you’re leading and trying to watch the judge too. 

There you are, giving the judge an intense staredown, then suddenly — BOOM — nothing like running straight into a calf’s backside. Congratulations, you have just been named Captain Awkward for the entire show. 

What would you add? Have you ever had an embarrassing show ring moment? Do tell!!


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