14 Ways to Make Everyone At A Livestock Show Hate You

Rachel CutrerRHD Blog

In virtually every activity, there are a set of rules, protocols and unspoken etiquette. This holds true whether you’re talking little league baseball, the elementary school car rider pickup line, and especially at a livestock show. Obviously, no one wants to violate any of the general rules, but if you do, chances are, you’ll quickly become despised in said activity. So, for a little fun, here are 14 ways to make everyone at a livestock show hate you!

#1. Break all the rules. Ask for exceptions to everything.

This one is pretty simple. The easiest way to fit in at a livestock show is to JUST FOLLOW THE RULES. Read the rules. Familiarize yourself with the rules. It’s no excuse to say “Oh I didn’t know the rules….” and then go breaking them all. The rules are your friend.

Rules say all cattle must be in place by noon? You ask to arrive at 9 p.m. so you can watch the Friday night football game in your hometown.
Rules say no cattle allowed in the barn until 8:00 a.m. Show up at 4:00 a.m. and harass the volunteers about when they are opening the barn.
Rules say you must show your original registration papers? Go up to the show office and ask if you can fax in a copy because you lost your originals.
Don’t like the stall space you are assigned? Go chew out the show superintendent.

These are all ways to get people to really dislike you.

#2. Be rude to the volunteers.

Again, basic courtesy here. The volunteers are donating their time and talents to make the show a success. They are just as tired as you. They actually have probably put in just as many hours as you have. They’ve been on their feet all day too. Be kind. Be nice. Be respectful.

#3. Blare your rock music at level 99.

Everyone loves to listen to Metallica, right? And if they don’t….who cares anyway! You’ve brought your specially made, custom boom box that will replicate the noise level of a front row ticket to the latest Guns N’ Roses concert. This really gets everyone in the barn happy, excited, and in party mode.

#4. Oversleep. Especially on show morning.

A great way to become the most hated person on your show crew is to be the person who oversleeps every morning. This really really gets you brownie points amongst your fellow show workers. If you can do this on show day morning…you’ll rank even lower in the crew’s books. You can make people dislike you even more if your oversleeping requires someone else from the show crew to drive back to the motel to get you — after they have been at the show all morning.

#5. Be late. To everything.

Everyone on your show team agrees to show up at the barn at 4:30 a.m. Show up at 5:30 a.m.
Be late to your class. Then make a big scene with the show officials and blame them for your tardiness because the load speakers in the barn weren’t loud enough for you to hear your call. File a protest. Stop the show. Ask for the judge to re-judge the class.

You can also use this strategy of lateness to build animosity during showmanship or group classes, where there is usually no official order to go in the ring. So here’s how it works: Let everyone else get to the makeup ring, then just MINUTES before the class starts….boisterously bust through (preferably with your mom in tow) and say things like “Get out of my way! Snuggles won’t lead unless she’s the first one in the gate…” or things like that. NOBODY LIKES YOU.  How about get there early, wait your turn and let your showmanship skills prove the rest? This also goes for people who cut the line at the wash rack, scales, move-in/out lines, registration check-in, etc. 

#6. Block the driveway.

Your goal here is to block enough people in so that someone has to write down your license plate, take it to the show office, and have an announcement made over the loudspeaker to ask you to move your vehicle. Then the longer you can stall, the more hated you can become.

#7. Be a bad stall neighbor.

It is important to remember that your stalls, your cattle are the most important thing at the show. Nobody else matters. So you just focus on your area, and that’s it. Absolutely NEVER sweep the aisle. Or, if you have a moment of weakness and decide to sweep, strictly sweep the 6 inches directly behind your cattle, and nowhere else. Pilfer through your stall neighbors cooler and drink all their drinks. Eat all their snacks. Use their wheelbarrow to dispose of your straw and bedding but under NO CIRCUMSTANCE offer to help them empty it at the dumpster. You’re above that.

#8. Over-post on social media.

Your motto is, you need at least 1 post every 30 minutes. This helps people notice you…right? So your goal is to post all day, every day, about your cattle. Tag as many people as humanly possible. Stop the show and take a selfie in the ring with the judge. #imwiththejudge 

#9. Make stuff up about your cattle.

People don’t actually fact check…do they? So it’s perfectly fine to just make random stuff up. No one will notice. NOT.

Here’s a real common way to make people mad. Write in your footnotes or tell people that your calf is sired by a “former national champion.” Nevermind that being a “former national champion” means the calf was sired by THE ONE AND ONLY bull that was the grand champion at a previous national show. If the sire of your calf was a “reserve division” at the national show in 1998 in no way should you imply he was the former “national champion.” Last time I checked the reserve division champion banner looked way different than the GRAND CHAMPION BANNER.

You can also use this strategy on selling “donors.” At our ranch, a donor is a cow that we have flushed that has a proven track record (IE: show ring winners, top sale progeny at the ranch, etc). But here’s how you can really make some people mad, especially your buyers! Pick a cow that you bought second-hand from someone for $2500. Then dedicate a 2-page glamorous spread in your sale catalog to this “ELITE featured donor”. Then sit back and act all innocent like you had no idea! 

#10. Backdate your cattle by posting them on social media.

Time and time again this is a topic of discussion. Here’s a sure-fire way to make some people mad. Please note the specifics required to execute this plan. First, take a picture of a newborn baby calf, making sure she’s still wet and with wobbly legs. But make sure she is tagged and the ear tag is clearly visible with all pertinent information – ESPECIALLY the birthdate. Post on September 1 (the actual birthdate) with a comment of something like “Can’t wait to show this awesome heifer!). Continually post this picture at least once a month. Wait. Then arrive at the first show of the season, and show this heifer in the December class. Boom. Mission accomplished. You’ll start a riot. 

#11. Spray everyone on the wash rack.

Wash rack etiquette is a topic entirely of its own. However, here are the basics. 

  • A 20-minute per calf body scrub is not necessary.
  • Bring the essentials…borrowing items at the wash rack will hold up the process no matter how gracious the person was that lent you their hose.
  • Watch where you spray…most of us have already had our shower this morning, even if some could use one!
  • If you have one calf, wait for an ideal opening, do not jump in the middle of a fitter that is trying to get 10 in and out in record time.

Do the exact opposite of these to earn the title of wash rack bully. You can escalate this to another level if you purposely spray people in the shoe area. Because everyone wants to walk around the barn all day with wet shoes.

#12. Yell obscenities from the ring or stands.

To best do this, you will need a rope halter, brush or comb to accompany your efforts. Then, as each class is judged, yell out rude and obnoxious comments to others in the stands. Here are some examples:

“You just got robbed!” while slapping the guy on the back who’s child just got 3rd place. Throw down brush for extra emphasis.
“This guy calls himself a judge???”
“That kid couldn’t show a movie! He calls himself a showman?”

You can also escalate this by identifying the parent of the exhibitor that wins, and then standing in their general area and yelling out these obscenities.

#13. Trip all the breakers.

This strategy for getting people to dislike you at a livestock show is designed to be implemented during the peak time of show day, OR in the morning hours between 5:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.

Find a plug, then plug ALL of your electrical devices into a single outlet. Crank up 3 blowers at one time. Then, at the moment that the breaker trips, act like nothing happened. Sit back and watch as everyone in your stall area frantically searches for the breakers. Rinse and repeat.

#14. Stalk and poach other people’s customers / crew / showmen.

Before the show, do some extensive stalking on social media. Find out the names of their showmen, crew, and closest friends. Then, do random “drive by’s” during the show and say things like:

“When you’re ready to get a GOOD calf, give me a call…” while slipping them your business card.
“You paid HOW much for that heifer!? Wow.” Roll eyes. Walk off.
“How much is this guy paying you a day to fit?” {answer}. Give a look of utter disbelief and say “Whew, he’s a cheap-o”. Walk off.

Try to do this at least a few times a day to multiple people in your breed.


So…..what are your livestock show behavior pet peeves?
Obviously, this post was written completely 100% in jest, but we all have pet peeves of livestock show behavior. What are some of yours? 

Editor’s note: This post was written by Ranch House Founder and CEO, Rachel Cutrer.


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