Fit v. Blow

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Show Dad

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In an attempt to get us talking cattle again (espoused by many):

We are having the discussion in our county as to wether our spring beef show should be full fit or blow n show. I can see some benefit to both.

So my question is, which do you like and why? (There is no wrong answer. So play nice y'all)
 

NHR

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If it is a registered heifer show then full fit should be good. If it is a commercial heifer show then no fit.

Short haired cattle folks wont want it to be a fit show, usually it does not matter because a good british or exotic heifer will usually beat an american heifer easily.

I wish our county show was a fit show.
 

SWMO

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After our experience at the American Royal this year I am all for limited fit shows.  I know this will offend some fitters but IMHO weather a good animal is fully fit or just blown out they will come to the top everything being equal.

We show Charolais cattle and COULD NOT keep  the black paint off of them.  The paint was so thick on the upper floor of the facility that our fans were blowing black paint on the cattle.  Their backs were black by the end of the day.  When we took the fans down they were covered in black paint.  I can't imagine what this is doing to our lungs.  I know that the inside of my nose was black for a couple of days after coming home.  This can't be a healthy enviroment for us, our kids or the livestock.
 

AAOK

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Show Dad,
Fit/No Fit seems to be a hot topic all over the country.  From what I have witnessed, primarily in Oklahoma and Texas, the Blow 'n Show folks are winning.  Our county went to a "nothing but soap and water" format 4 or 5 years ago.  They go so far as to wipe a tissue across the body of each calf as it enters the ring.  If anything appears, it's an automatic disqualification.  The idea was to level the playing field for those who:

a) Could not afford a Fitter
b) Had a 4H or FFA Leader with too many calves to spend an equal amount of time Fitting
c) Did Not Cheat (meaning everyone who supported a FIT SHOW was a cheater)

Of course, (c) was really the only reason to have a Blow 'n Show event.

I support FITTING.  As far as I'm concerned, the only reason to have a livestock show is to exhibit one of God's creation the very best it can be.  No one can take a calf, pig, lamb, or any other creature and make it look as good in it's natural state as it would Fit for a Beauty Pageant.  In addition, the work it takes is a huge part of the project.  Anyone can dump feed in a trough.  Few are willing to spend the time and energy to feed, groom, and fit a calf to perfection.  That's all I have to say about that.
 

NHR

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Painting is illegal at major shows. They need to enforce the rules. (I know a lot of people ignore the rules because they are never enforced). Fitting means glue and oils. Painitng is changing the natural color.

Registered heifers are in a beauty pageant as stated above.

Of course our heifers do just as good in a non fit show (Houston). Non fit shows work to our advantage because the work my daughters put into their animals the hair just pops automatically no matter what. To us glueing levels the playing field for other people but i am still in favor of the glue show because i like to see all the heifers in their best.
 

chambero

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Although we've done much better over the years at slick shear shows, in my opinion show cattle should have hair.  If they've got hair, you ought to get to "mess" with it.  

We did accidently one time toss a can of black paint down when we were done with it.  It landed on a comb which punctured it.  Of course it sprayed the Charolais steer being dressed next to us.  
 

itk

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I am so close to 100 posts I can taste it so here I go. My own personal opinion on fitting at a county level is that those shows should be no fit. In most cases at that level (myself included) the exhibitors attempt at fitting only makes the animal look worse then it really is. At most county fairs in our area there is such a distance between the top few animals and the rest, fitting makes absolutely no difference in the outcome of the show.
 

shortyjock89

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Our county is no-fit for 4-H, but open show, you can fit.  We show Shorthorns and every year, all the Shorthorn exhibitors kind of get together and decide whether we are going to fit this year or not...we have the most competitive show at the fair, and the good cattle are gonna do well no matter what, so we usually decide not to fit...we usually only fit at the bigger shows, or if we're at a smaller show, we'll fit if we think we can win but will be challenged pretty hard....Sometimes at these little county fairs, people get bent out of shape over nothing...I fit a steer two years ago for a kid at a county fair and it was a "fit" show, so I used paint to build (no twining though). The steer wasn't that great, but he had good hair, and the kid told me to do as good as I could, so I did.  The steer got into the ring and then he was almost sent out because they thought his steer was twined...idk how they thought that, because neither his legs nor tailhead looked fake whatsoever...I was mad, and we don't show there anymore..I don't know who the ringmen thought they were, but I don't think they had ever seen a twined calf...


Okay, here it is..I'm all for fit shows, but make the rules very clear, and if someone DOES cheat, kick them straight out.  Some people don't like fit shows because some of us actually know what we're doing with a can of glue and a set of clippers, but I agree with AAOK...anyone can dump feed to a calf..taking care of the hair and fitting it is a talent, and almost a science.. Good calves will usually win, but sometimes you need that little bit of "edge" that a good fit job can give you...good luck with whatever your county decides.
 

dori36

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shortyjock89 said:
Our county is no-fit for 4-H, but open show, you can fit.  We show Shorthorns and every year, all the Shorthorn exhibitors kind of get together and decide whether we are going to fit this year or not...we have the most competitive show at the fair, and the good cattle are gonna do well no matter what, so we usually decide not to fit...we usually only fit at the bigger shows, or if we're at a smaller show, we'll fit if we think we can win but will be challenged pretty hard....Sometimes at these little county fairs, people get bent out of shape over nothing...I fit a steer two years ago for a kid at a county fair and it was a "fit" show, so I used paint to build (no twining though). The steer wasn't that great, but he had good hair, and the kid told me to do as good as I could, so I did.  The steer got into the ring and then he was almost sent out because they thought his steer was twined...idk how they thought that, because neither his legs nor tailhead looked fake whatsoever...I was mad, and we don't show there anymore..I don't know who the ringmen thought they were, but I don't think they had ever seen a twined calf...


Okay, here it is..I'm all for fit shows, but make the rules very clear, and if someone DOES cheat, kick them straight out.  Some people don't like fit shows because some of us actually know what we're doing with a can of glue and a set of clippers, but I agree with AAOK...anyone can dump feed to a calf..taking care of the hair and fitting it is a talent, and almost a science.. Good calves will usually win, but sometimes you need that little bit of "edge" that a good fit job can give you...good luck with whatever your county decides.

I don't have club calvers so I'm opining from breed show perspective.  I'm seeing more and more shows prohibiting painting on anything but feet, including Denver.  I have a fitter for my Lowlines that is second to none.  She came to Lowliners from Angus showing and that's how I met her. She's incredible and now that I'm not showing any more, you can't imagine how many people are trying to pick her up for their showstrings. (Lowlines)  She and I agree that for my cattle to get to the ring, they have to first look just as good with no hair as they do with blown hair.  Lowlines have incredible amounts of hair so either they can be made to look really good, or else a mediocre fitter won't be able to handle all of it.  If my cattle don't look like potential champions in my pasture, wet and dirty, they don't go to town.  Period.  So, for me it wouldn't matter whether the show was full fitting or blow 'n show.  They'd stand up well either way.
 

Jill

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I say if you are looking at who is going to win, it doesn't make one bit of difference.  The people that they are trying to eliminate by going no fit are generally the ones that have done the work at home and they are going to come to the top no matter what the rules are.  When you get right down to it, the no fit show makes the spread bigger between those that care and those that only want to whine about the people that are winning. 
I personally like no fit, it is a much calmer show, no one runs around looking for who is cheating, it saves me a lot of money, and I get to sleep a little later.
On the down side, and to me this huge, fitting to me is part of the project, if you don't feed your calf it doesn't look ti's best, if you don't fit your calf it doesn't look his best.  The no fit shows have gotten to very popular in our part of the country, but they really put our kids at a huge disadvantage when we get to Jr. Nationals and haven't had any shows we can practice fitting at. 
I think I agree with itk here, at the county level no fit is probably ik, beyond that I think it needs to fit shows.  As you can see I am torn on this subject!
 

Rocky Hill Simmental

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I only show at 3 different shows so I don't have much experience with the rules of different shows. I've shown 4 years and only clipped my cattle 2 years. The other year I just washed and brushed them and they looked pretty good anyway.

At our 4-H/FFA prospect show there's no glue, paint, or sprays allowed - only soap and water. They say you can clip them but you have to do it before you arrive. I never clipped any of my heifers for this show until this year. It's mostly a practice show and a lot of people don't clip their cattle at all.

At the district and county shows there's no rules against using anything on them. Like I said earlier, the first two years I did nothing but wash/brush but the next years I had my cattle clipped. All I use on them is soap, revive, show sheen, shoe polish, and their brush but I usually have some pretty hairy ones (except for on my American steer).  :) I've always brushed my cattle enough they never needed glue. I do use a little bit of shoe polish to cover up a path of lighter colored hair on my black cattle and I spend a lot of time getting their tails extra fluffy. They look pretty good too - but I'm thinking about using pink oil on them next year.

Either way I have fun. Here's what I think though - on those day long shows, you are usually busy enough that you don't always have enough time to get them perfectly fit so they make good go n blow shows. But I think the shows that are several days long (like my district fair) need them to be full fit shows because you simply have more time (Seriously, who wants set around for a week and do nothing?).

I'm not too good at clipping yet but I'm getting better. Good thing I got my old show heifers to practice on. :D
 

strawroanlova

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if its a county fair then definatley a blow and go cus the steers are gonna be eatin in a few days and you dont no what might have been still on the calve or in its system,at county fairs heifers can be fukll fit cause no ones eating it

but if is an open show by all means  full fit
 

STEERJOCK21L

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I like all fit shows. Some people don't like it(usually the ones getting beat by the major fitters).I've been beat by them to. Some people say it is fake but I look at it as a women puts all sorts of stuff in her hair to make it pop,shine,and putting it in different styles. People work hard for that hair, I figure if you have it use it.
 

STEERJOCK21L

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MHSC21 said:
I like all fit shows. Some people don't like it(usually the ones getting beat by the major fitters).I've been beat by them to. Some people say it is fake but I look at it as a women puts all sorts of stuff in her hair to make it pop,shine,and putting it in different styles. People work hard for that hair, I figure if you have it use it.

P.S. At lousiville is there not suppose to be any painting, cause everybody does?
 

shortyisqueen

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<< "anyone can dump feed to a calf..taking care of the hair and fitting it is a talent, and almost a science." >>

I definately take opposition to this statement!!! Its true, anyone can physically dump feed into a trough  - but if you are serious about winning, you know that the feed goes in before the hair goes on - and incorrect feeding does much more harm than a bad fit job. Feed affects the length, shine and undercoat of their hair, their build and muscle development (of course, bone size in younger calves, how 'fresh' they look,  and most importantly, the way they feel. If you've ever had a calf who's stomach was off on showday, you know how they looked and showed - and usually its not good!!! Find me a can of glue or a pair of clippers that can change all that in just one spray, and i'll buy it....Feeding is as much a science as fitting or more  (rant over...resume reading  ;D )

Back to  the topic of no-fit or fit-shows, I'm still a big fan of fit-shows...Like others have said, I LOVE having them walk in the ring looking like a million bucks. Its fun to get out the can and go crazy...However, I just read an article that stated at least 10% of all the cattle in the barns at fall shows are getting respiratory  illnesses...(caused by non other than aerosol sprays). While 10 % doesn't seem like alot, in a show of 400 head...that's 40 head with pneumonia - NOT a statistic I would want in any of my pens back home. The chemicals in aerosol sprays also cause cancer (warning on the can)...which is not particularly something I want to be breathing. I think statistics such as these will force alternatives to aerosol sprays to come into production. A regular spray balm would do the trick - slightly slower but hopefully considerably less dangerous. Or even a putty like that used on human hair (I have some of this that I put on my cattle's  legs in the stall - it makes the hair stand out, looks fluffy and keeps them looking half fitted whenever someone comes around to look at them).

If we could get away with a few less adverse health affects, I would still vote for a 'fit show,' simply because...well, its fun!!!  Ironically, I think I might do just as good or better at a no fit show. As NHR stated, those people who do their homework will come out on top in a no-fit show as well...And I wouldn't mind finding  those people who roll into a show without a smidgen of work done on their cattle's hair  buried at the bottom of the  class because they couldn't hire a good fitter to make up for their lack of effort. Did I say rant over???!!!!
 

Turkey Creek Ranch

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Well im in Nebraska, and we only show at county fair so we dont have coolers or anything. So our calves usually dont have much hair, some people still try and full fit the calves, but last year we just did blow and show, worked great, calves looked awesome, sprayed somethin from sullivan on then and blew it in (cant remember what it was, show sheen maybe somthing like that)

It makes it a lot more fun because you dont have to rush around fitting, a lot more fun and relaxed.

I'd go blow and show
 

shortyisqueen

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PS, If your county show is a junior show...I would DEFINITELY go full fit. Allow the kids to do as much or as little as they want - There is no better place than a small show to practice your skills, make your mistakes and try new things. If you have kids that are really enthusiastic about learning to fit, having a no fit show just holds them back when they get out into the world of the big shows.
 

Jill

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shortyisqueen said:
PS, If your county show is a junior show...I would DEFINITELY go full fit. Allow the kids to do as much or as little as they want - There is no better place than a small show to practice your skills, make your mistakes and try new things. If you have kids that are really enthusiastic about learning to fit, having a no fit show just holds them back when they get out into the world of the big shows.
And that statement right there is why I don't like no fit shows!
 

DLD

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Our county is "blow and show". It's an extremely competitive county, too. It all started kind of accidentally - our new barns and arena were under construction and we were forced to use a much smaller facility. Being very limited for time and space (and wash racks and electricity), it was very grudgingly agreed not to fit "just this once". Everybody loved it, and it's been no fit ever since.

It's certainly no advantage for the folks that don't work on their cattle. Without paint and glue, it's that much more important to have plenty of hair, and have it working right. It saves alot of time, money and there's a little more hair left for the state shows. It's made the whole thing more relaxed and enjoyable, but no less competitive. We still get a few fitters trying to do what they can with sheen and foam, but not being able to use glue and paint takes alot of wind out of their sails...

Not only our county, but pretty much all the district shows and some of the jackpots around here have gone to the same format. The only real downside I see is that the kids don't have as much chance to learn how to use the stuff they need to be competitive at the state and national levels. But if the kids are honestly doing the work and doing it right at a blow and show, it's a short leap from getting a leg looking right with foam and a blower to getting it right with glue (and in fact getting it right without the glue ought to be learned before using the glue). It requires all the same skills with hair working, clipping, etc... except for actually using glue and paint.

Speaking of aerosols, the owner of one of the bigger show supply companies has told me that he expects the government to outlaw all aerosol cans in the next few years - I'm sure we'll figure out some way to cope...

Oh and by the way, to the earlier poster who stated that paint was illegal at national shows, that's only true with some breeds (Angus, Limi, maybe a couple of others).
 

knabe

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i'm having trouble here.  the downsides of fitting don't seem to be that great.  i could be wrong on this, but are people coloring the heatwaves to make them black to "protect" their investment? 

the argument seems to be more about perception than reality.  judges seem to think they can see through the fitting, and the losers (the one's who didn't win) seem to think they cant'.

i like to see more judges put their hands on cattle, not to the extent they have to do it to every animal just to make "everyone" happy.  as usual, a balance is hard to achieve.

i sure miss jarold callahan judging.
 
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