Little International Livestock Show combines Block and Bridle Club, undergrad coursework

Novice and experienced livestock showmen will compete Saturday, Nov. 15, during the 2014 Little International Show at the Cliff and Martha Hansen Teaching Arena near Laramie.

Hosted by University of Wyoming’s Block and Bridle Club, the show serves as the culminating event for the 39 students enrolled in Animal Science 1070, Livestock Fitting and Showing. The class’s lead instructor, McKensie Harris, says major restructuring of the course will lead to a better experience for both novice and experienced showmen.

She said the course was previously more of an independent study. This year, the class is divided into two sections, novice and experienced showmen, and four undergrad species instructors, one for each – horse, sheep, swine, and beef – prepare lesson plans and meet with their respective students twice a week.

“I think the novice students will benefit greatly because it’s not like they’ve never done it. They’ve been taught throughout the semester… they’ve had experience,” says Harris. “It will be a higher level of novice competition I think, but still we want to encourage the experienced students because we want it to be a big event.”

The show begins with an open division at 10 a.m. followed by lunch and entertainment, with the novice competition at 1 p.m. and the round robins for both divisions beginning at 3 p.m.. A celebrity showmanship contest is in the works as well.

Harris says faculty and staff members from animal science and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources are invited to compete.

“They don’t need to know anything about showing animals. They can come that morning, watch the open division and see how it goes – the novice students will be standing there with them telling them kind of how it goes,” she says. “Then they’re given a horse, pig, lamb, or heifer to show. It’s kind of for fun – it’s a way to involve the campus more.”

Block and Bridle Club representatives and students and instructors of ANSC 1070 encourage the campus and the Laramie community to attend the event. The teaching arena is at 460 Highway 230 southwest of Laramie.