A European crossbred steer named Rocco, weighing in at 1,388 pounds and exhibited by 15-year-old Mikala Grady of Grandview, won the Fort Worth Stock Show’s coveted Grand Champion Steer title on Friday in the W.R. Watt Arena.
A day later, Grady sold the steer for a Stock Show record-tying bid of $240,000. Rocco was purchased by a ladies group called Women Steering Business, which included Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price who made the winning bid during the 2017 Junior Sale of Champions auction on Saturday morning.
Rocco was named grand champion steer by judge Doug Husfeld on Friday. Rocco also won the heavyweight class of the European crossbred division before advancing to compete against other breed champions for the overall title.
Grady, a ninth grade student who is a member of Johnson County 4-H, said Rocco won because he has a great physical presence.
“He’s monster legged and he’s sound,” she said.
Asked what made Rocco stand out, Grady said: “Everything about him. He’s just the definition of one that’s pretty good.”
Grady said she has owned Rocco for about 18 months. She said she’s always had a sense that she had an outstanding steer.
“He’s been really special the whole time,” Grady said. “He stood out like a sore thumb when we first got him.”
Other grand champion exhibitors were: Trey Bates of Leakey (Leakey FFA), whose lamb was sold for $40,000 by Ladies on the Lamb; Koda Joy Davis of Sonora (Sutton County 4-H), whose goat was purchased for $40,000 to Dr. Bill Bonnell; and Tristanne Rasco of Silverton (Briscoe County 4-H), whose barrow was bought for $42,000 by Standard Meat Co. The reserve champion wether goat, shown by Brigg Hawkins from Johnson County 4-H, was purchased by American Aero for $25,000.
According to the Fort Worth Stock Show, more than $3.2 million was generated from the 2017 Junior Sale of Champions by local business owners, executives and individuals were responsible for purchasing 283 steers, barrows, lambs and goats.
Sale proceeds were raised by the Fort Worth Stock Show Syndicate, a group of more than 100 Fort Worth area businessmen dedicated to enhancing agricultural education activities of Texas youth. Members of the organization, along with the Ladies on the Lamb, U Ol’ Goat Committee, Fort Worth Businessmen, The Tallest Hog at the Trough Syndicate, The Shortest Goat at the Bar Committee and Women Steering Business were responsible for the purchase of all animals offered in the Junior Sale of Champions. Since 1980, the Syndicate has raised more than $50 million for the youth exhibitors and provided more than $1 million in scholarships for Texas 4-H and FFA members.