Welp, seeing how I've been to a grand total of oh, not that many cattle shows, this may or may not be a relatively concise lesson! Ready? Here we go:
1) Wash 'em. A lot. Cause they poop. A lot. Gotta have a clean cow to start with.
Squeaky clean! For about 5 minutes...until someone poops again. It's never ending.
2) Line 'em all up like this! You don't really have to, it just looks cool. Good morning girls!
3) Pretend you're in beauty school. I'm serious. This part consists of clipping, spraying, blow-drying, tail teasing. Then you clip, spray, blow, and tease. After you're done doing that, it's important to clip a little more, blow, spray, and tease that tail again. Then, when you're done, you need to clip some more...(are you sensing a trend? Ok, good).
Basically, the idea is to get each animal to embody certain desirable characteristics. For example, you would want a heifer (young female cow, hasn't had babies yet) to look feminine and dainty, yet able to produce an able-bodied calf. Say the heifer has a blemish you are wanting to hide, say This whole process is called fitting,
Here he is again, fluffing up her leg hair to enhance the appearance of a clean, straight leg.
Ok, now we're walking up to the show ring. I wish I could've snapped a photo of what I'm about to describe, but I was occupied by importantly (haha) carrying towels, hair spray, brushes, etc. Anyway, the hilarious part: when someone stops to poop while walking up to the show ring (the animal, not the boys! ha.) this whole wagon train comes to a screeching halt so the deed can take place without getting poo all over the clean, clipped, purty cow. Then, the LUCKIEST (i.e. whoever happens to be standing behind when this happens) member of the wagon train gets to wipe the poo off of the cow backside so the procession to the show ring can start back up again. Once you've seen it done a couple of times, it's not quite as amusing, but there's is just something about watching a grown man wiping poop off a cow's butt!
Once in the show ring, it's up to the exhibitor to display the animal to it's full potential while making sure the judge sees it's best side! All while avoiding running into other cows/people, grimacing every time you hear the 'splat splat splat' of you-know-what hitting the ground, and hoping like heck your cow behaves.
Easier said than done, you win some you lose some, but don't worry, there will always be cow poop!