Lexie Gibson knows about working and spending countless hours in the barn. She has worked with her family to make breeding decisions over the years, and those decisions coupled with her dedication and endless effort made the Dixie National in Jackson, Mississippi, a supreme event for Lexie.
The 17-year-old from Newton, Mississippi, said this was her seventh year showing at Dixie, and definitely the highlight of her show career up to this point. In the junior show, she showed the Supreme Champion Bull, WG MR Right Time 526C, and Reserve Supreme Heifer, Mary Jane, both animals her family bred and raised. She was also named the Champion Cattle and Swine Showman in her age group.
“Winning the junior bull show with a bull we raised was a remarkable feeling. And then winning the open show was just so awesome,” Lexie said. “I live in the barn, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. When you have a show like Dixie, all the work pays off.”
Lexie said she heads out to work with her livestock, both cattle and pigs, as soon as she gets home from school, and will be out there working with them as late as possible. She is the one that keeps her show box organized and packed for each show. And when at home, she can find whatever she needs in the show box because she is a self-proclaimed “neat freak.”
Here is what is in Lexie’s show box that she takes to cattle shows and keeps in the show barn at home.
The book of registration papers and rules. Lexie said this book is always in the box, and they keep all the rules for the shows they travel to across Mississippi in there so they are handy.
Show sticks and show halters.
Lucky show halter. This is a show halter that Lexie has added blue rhinestone studs to that her big heifer, Mary Jane, wears. Mary Jane is also her showmanship heifer, so this halter gets used in showmanship too.
Kleen Sheen and Pink Oil. “These are the best products I have found to use right before going into the show ring to make their hair pop and make my animals look show ring ready.”
Soap and Conditioner. Lexie washes and conditions her animals daily to keep their skin and hair in good shape.
Combs. She uses the Sullivan plastic Fluffer comb for daily hair care since it doesn’t irritate her calves’ hide. At shows and for fitting, she prefers to use metal combs.
Sullivan’s adhesive and other fitting products.
Sure Champ® and Vita Charge®. “Sure Champ keeps my cattle on a consistent diet. I like to give my calves Vita Charge before leaving home to reduce stress and give their appetite a boost,” Lexie said.
Sullivan’s water filter. Lexie said the worst part of getting to a show is having a calf that won’t drink, and so she filters all their drinking water at a show.
Hair brush and lip gloss. Lexie wants to be sure she looks professional and put together before she enters the ring, so she always makes sure to have a few of her own items in the show box.
“I like to go to the shows to compete, but more importantly I enjoy the life-long friendships that I form. It is also important to stay involved in junior breed associations,” Lexie said. She adds that traveling to shows across the state with her family are some of her favorite family memories since like many livestock families, these are their “vacations.” And now that her brother, Will is in college at Texas Tech, the shows give him a good reason to come home to visit and help his family.
Lexie is looking forward to competing in the American Junior Simmental Association Junior Classic in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, this summer. After high school, she would like to participate on a show team in college. Uncertain of definite plans past college, she knows for sure she wants to be involved in the livestock industry.