We caught up with Rikki Buckalew, Fort Worth Stock Show exhibitor who presented the 2010 Grand Champion Market Steer, War Admiral (a 1,309-pound European crossbred). That year, during the Sale of Champions, she set an all-time auction record when Larry B. White Jr. Investments purchased War Admiral for a record of $210,000. What makes her story that much more special is that she overcame health issues just to be able to compete during the Show. She has since gone on to Texas A&M and will graduate next fall.

Name: Rikki Buckalew

Hometown: Graham, TX

Livestock Events: I showed steers at all of the major livestock shows in Texas for eight years and goats for four years. I also showed heifers at major live stocks in Texas for two years.

Favorite Stock Show moment: My favorite stock show moment was my senior year of High School when I showed my steer, War Admiral, at the Fort Worth Livestock Show. The experience was special because I knew it was my last livestock show as an exhibitor and it was my last opportunity to see what all of mine and my family’s hard work had brought. It was also special because I did not even know if I was going to be able to participate in my last livestock show. But thankfully through the work of my family, close family friends, and doctors I was able to show and win the title of Grand Champion Steer.

What type of preparation does it take throughout the year to get ready for a Show the size of the FWSSR? Preparing for a livestock show the size of the FWSSR is no easy feat. It requires time, patience, and lots of hard work. It requires making the trek to the barn to feed and water your animal when it’s freezing cold or blistering hot. It requires spending hours working with your animal so that they are properly trained and show ring ready. You have to groom your animal, keep them cool during the horribly hot days of summer, and clean their pens every day.

How has your experience in the livestock arena benefited your immediate future and how do you expect it to benefit you long term? Being in the livestock arena has benefited me in so many ways. The biggest two lessons it has taught me to be is being cool and collected under pressure. It has also taught me to accept defeat and success both with grace and humility. These lessons will benefit me in so many ways in my future career, school, and even in daily life.

What is your favorite thing to do outside of the FWSSR when you visit Fort Worth?
I enjoy walking around Sundance Square and visiting all of the shops. I also enjoy watching performances at Bass Hall, touring the Kimbell Art Museum, and visiting the Stockyards. Fort Worth has so much to offer and there is always something new and exciting to do!

Besides food at the Stock Show, what is your favorite place to eat when you visit Fort Worth?
My favorite place to eat when I visit Fort Worth is Razoos in Sundance Square. I love the atmosphere and I have always had great service. Everything on the menu is delicious and their bread pudding is the best I’ve ever had.

Rikki with her Grand Champion Market Steer