By Sarah Naron

Messenger Reporter

GRAPELAND – Jaycee Bridges, an 11-year-old Grapeland resident who attends Slocum ISD, recently competed in the Houston Livestock Show for her first year.

“There were so many in her class that she didn’t place – they stop placing them at 12, and there were 32 in her class,” explained her mother, April Bridges. “So, she didn’t place, but she got to go in the ring and got the experience of the major show.”

As Bridges explained, “major shows” include those held in locations such as Austin, Fort Worth and Houston.

“This was her first one to show in,” Bridges said. “She didn’t actually get a ribbon or place, but she participated, and it was a good experience for her. She’s still overly excited that she got to go.”

According to Bridges, the Houston Livestock Show experienced a record number of entries.

As Jaycee explained, she showed a heifer named Jolene that she had taken care of for six months prior to the show.

“I had to walk her every day and feed her twice a day,” she explained.

For Jaycee, the best part of the experience was “going into the ring and showing her (Jolene).” The hardest part, she said, was getting out of the ring.

“They gave us a red bag, and it scared them (the animals),” she explained.

Jaycee, who shows through Anderson County 4-H, expressed intentions to participate in the Houston Livestock Show again in 2019. She is also preparing to show at an upcoming event in Anderson County.

Sarah Naron may be reached via email at