Off to England
By Brandy Harrison
PLAINFIELD With only 24 hours to build a rapport with a heifer shes never laid eyes on, Hailie Conley will be racing the clock to learn the ins and outs of show-ring etiquette across the pond next month, right down to the dress code: a white lab coat and mans tie.
“I dont know how to tie a tie,” jokes the 15-year-old from Plainfield, north of Belleville, wholl be competing at the National Young Show Stars Challenge for youth 14 to 24 in Malvern, England, about 215 kilometres northwest of London. “Im a bit nervous because I dont know what to expect.”
Conley earned a spot on team Canada for the competition on April 1 and 2 by nabbing reserve champion showperson honours at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fairs junior beef show last November, where her heifer, Vos Vegas Queen of Hearts 30A, was also reserve champion Angus female.
Competing overseas for the first time is a little intimidating, admits Conley. Cattle are fitted differently, with judges giving them a onceover before and after theyre clipped, she says.
Judged as part of a team, Conley will share the learning curve with Jack Oates from Brome County, Que. and Courtney Walker from Simcoe County.
Conley isnt a newbie on the international circuit. Since last year, shes been showing cattle in the United States, relishing the chance to see high calibre U.S. cattle, pick up tips from veterans, and build marketing contacts.
With five years of showing under her belt, Conley is determined to start her own herd one day.
“I love it and I wouldnt trade it for anything. Once I have a goal in mind, I will do all that I can to make that goal possible.”