Lainie McGraw is no stranger to the show ring — or the winner’s circle.
The 16-year-old sophomore at Blooming Grove High School made it two wins in a row Thursday, again claiming the Grand Champion award in the Navarro County Youth Expo’s marquee event — the Steer Division.
McGraw added to her winnings Thursday with a Reserve Champion showing in the Senior Showmanship judging for the steer show as well.
“It’s unbelievable,” she said with a smile after the show.
McGraw had two entries in the Steer Division, and captured first place in both of the two classes her steers were in.
Hard work and consistency have paid off for McGraw.
“I work with them every day, and just ‘try,’” she said of her good fortune in Thursday’s show.
McGraw plans to attend Texas A&M University and study communications and journalism.
Paige Allen of Rice FFA took Reserve Champion honors in the Steer Division.
Allen, 18, attends Rice High School, and was excited with her Reserve Champion showing.
“I’ve been waiting a long time for this,” she said.
Allen says working with animals has taught her two important things — responsibility and leadership.
“It takes a lot of hard work, and that’s what you need to get through life,” she added.
Sam Houston State University is her destination after high school she said, with plans to study business.
Show judge Wayne Shackleford of Gunter was complimentary of both the show and its exhibitors in his remarks to the crowd gathered for show. He encouraged the participants to give thanks to those that helped teach and guide them in their efforts.
“This is one of the best experiences, hands down, a young person can have,” Shackleford said of raising and showing animals.
Also honored Thursday were Junior Showmanship Grand Champion, Chance McQueen, Blooming Grove/Barry 4-H; Reserve Champion, Chasyn Andrews, Corsicana FFA; 3rd place, Austin Green, Corsicana 4-H.
Senior Showmanship winners were: Grand Champion, Noah Grounds, Blooming Grove/Barry 4-H; Reserve Champion, Lainie McGraw, Blooming Grove FFA; 3rd place, Nathan Griffin, Corsicana FFA.
Complete class results will appear in the Daily Sun’s Youth Expo Wrapup publication next week.
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