The Show Must Go On

The largest junior stockshow in Oklahoma requires showmen to weat masks. Audiences, however, were not required to.

During the COVID-19 crisis, there have been hundreds of events canceled or postponed. 

Other than last year’s Oklahoma Youth Expo livestock show being canceled right before the steer show could begin, the events that have continued throughout the year have been stock shows and FFA events. 

“Masks have really been the only thing that has changed the stock shows, we still hang out in large groups, we still talk to other show teams, the only thing that has really changed is having to wear masks,” Emma Hoffman, Canton FFA student, said. 

When seated at these events, there is not a requirement for wearing masks as long as people stay away from each other. While in the ring showing, kids and adults have to wear masks because they are going to be coming in contact with judges and other people helping give out awards. At the stalls while getting the animal ready to show, exhibitors do not have to wear masks or social distance. 

“I think that stock shows are different than other events because there is more distance between people and seats, the showmen are not as close to each other, and it’s quieter,” Kasidee Pope, freshman, said. 

Sporting events have been stricter about  Covid restrictions and mandates. During the high school championship basketball tournaments that were going on at the same time and place as Oklahoma Youth Expo, people in the stands had to wear masks and had to try to stay six feet apart even though the stands were packed with people. 

People in the goat barn were packed together and were not socially distanced and not many people had masks on, even though there were probably hundreds of people in one building. 

The cattle barn and pig barns were just as packed with showmen and visitors walking through the halls and sitting and watching their animals. Many people using the same combs, brushes, blowers, and sprays.

The coronavirus appeared to be a complete afterthought for showmen as people got show animals ready to go in the ring.