RAPID CITY -- Imagine giving birth at 7:30 a.m. and having to compete in a beauty contest at 10 a.m.
Steve Eichacker, of Salem, was hoping the Red Angus bred heifer he and his son, Adam, brought to the Black Hills Stock Show would wait a few days before she calved.
But, less than three hours before Thursday's Red Angus Show, nature took its course and she had an 85-pound bull calf in the livestock barn at the Central States Fairgrounds.
"We got her cleaned up and moved her to a stall and got her ready for the show," Eichacker said.
Not only did she make the show, she was named the reserve grand champion for Red Angus heifers. That's the equivalent of second place.
Adam, who showed the heifer, said she really didn't want to leave the calf and was stubborn to deal with in the sale ring. "Then she just froze up."
Steve brought the calf into the ring to calm the new mother down. It worked, and the heifer claimed the prize.
The heifer and calf were sold later in the day for $6,500 to Weber Land & Cattle, Lake Fenton, Minn. That matches the price of the grand champion heifer and is the highest price for a heifer at the stock show so far.
"At least the buyer will know they're getting a healthy, live calf," Steve Eichacker said.
The Black Hills Stock Show, begun in 1958, is the second largest event in South Dakota after the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, with an estimated attendance of 331,000 people attending over 10 days. It features 96 agriculture-driven events, with an estimated economic impact of $21.9 million in the state.