Jake and Evan Sims might be just a little superstitious about some of the items in their showbox…and with good reason.
These brothers from Edmond, Oklahoma, successfully show Polled and Horned Hereford heifers across the country. The Sims boys have taken home many ribbons, banners and titles. They also take home some essential products, family-pride items and amazing memories.
“Going to the barn and seeing how my cattle progress and change is the best part of showing,” says 16-year-old Jake.
His 12-year-old brother, Evan, says being around his cattle friends from across the country is his favorite part, though his best friends are sometimes his show heifers because he hangs out with them so much.
Here’s what Jake and Evan can’t live without in their showbox.
- The showbox contains plenty of Sullivan and Weaver products so that the Sims boys and their cattle are ready on show day. From Sullivan Tail Adhesive to Weaver’s Fawn Paint they have it all.
- There is a wide variety of combs and brushes in the showbox. Jake says they select a comb or brush that is appropriate to use based on the time of year and hair coat that the cattle have.
- Jake never goes into the show ring without his favorite OSU orange-painted wooden handle comb. Evan says he found a wooden-handle comb long ago, and he’s kept it as his favorite also. Both boys prefer wooden-handled combs over metal grips.
- Evan is particular about his show stick, a Weaver carbon fiber that is lightweight. Jake uses the same show stick his dad, Matt, used as a boy. It is made out of an aluminum alloy ski pole; it has an orange and black band painted on the bottom of it. He’s never shown without it, and he practices with it at home too. Both of these sticks are always in the Sims’ showbox.
- The Sims use Show Coat, ProCharge, or Kleen Sheen for daily hair care and Dress Coat or Sullivan’s Shock for show day. Combined with frequent washing and blowing, these products help condition, train and straighten the hair.
- When Matt was young he won a brown, medium-sized leather show halter at the 1986 International Polled Hereford Breeders Futurity. Later that month, it was worn by a Matt’s heifer that won Grand Champion in both the owned and bred and owned shows at the 13th Junior National Polled Hereford Show in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This sparked a tradition where the best heifer in the Sims’ string would wear the brass-plated halter. It has been a staple in their showbox ever since. The halter was on the heifers when their uncle, Mark Sims, won the Junior National Hereford Expo in 2006 and when their aunt, Catie Sims, won the Bred and Owned show at the Junior National Hereford Expo in 2001. Many years ago, Jake says his friend cut the long lead strap by accident and that extra piece has also stayed in the showbox.
- There is an old show number card with the number ‘4355’ on it that is permanently in their box. It was the number Jake wore with his favorite show heifer, Grace, when he won the American Royal Junior Hereford Show in 2012. He likes to remember that day and keeps the number in the back of the showbox for good luck.
- Sims Family Cattle Company hats are always in the box to give to friends. They also keep extra 4-H emblems and safety pins on hand. When a show requires an exhibitor to display the emblem on their shirt, they can grab an embroidered emblem and pin it on.
- Their registration book remains in the box during the show with each of their heifers’ papers tucked inside.
- The Sims keep an excessive amount of zip ties in the drawer of their show box, Evan says. Long ones, small ones, every size, he says, can be found there. “My dad uses them for everything,” he says.
- The family keeps an orange toolbox with all tools possible inside. It contains screwdrivers, nuts and bolts, a hammer and a drill, everything imaginable, Jake says.
- Sure Champ® is a staple in our feed room and at the shows. We feel it helps optimize the health and nutritional well being of our cattle. We always have free-choice Vita Charge® Stress Tubs available in each run as well.