Latexo Sophomore Wins Big in San Antonio Calf Show

By Greg Ritchie

Messenger Reporter

LATEXO –  Latexo High School Sophomore Kyria Noble was born in the Texas panhandle but when she was in the sixth grade she came to Houston County to live with her grandparents. That’s also when she started raising calves. 

Inspired by her mother and older brother who also loved working with cows, Kyria (pronounced KAI-RA) has since become one of the local young legends in the sport, traveling in grandpa’s truck to shows in Texas and as far away as Nebraska, Colorado and Arizona. 

At the San Antonio Market Steer Show in late February, Kyria and her steer Kenney won best in class and the Reserve Champion Red Cross. Kyria said show calves are much different than your run-of-the-mill cow. 

“We raise them a lot different from what you may see out in the pasture,” she said. “They’re pretty pampered! We bathe them, we condition their hide, we brush their hair and train them to walk on a halter.”

The calves are shown at smaller shows during summer and fall and at the bigger shows in spring. Even with so many her shows behind her, Kyria still gets nervous – and so do those pampered calves.

“It’s definitely nerve-wracking. I think I’m always nervous before I go in the ring. For the steers, too – it’s a different environment, it’s very busy with so many people and animals,” Kyria explained. “We take them to little shows throughout the year to prepare them and so they’re conditioned to it.”

Kyria along with steer Keeney win big at the San Antonio Market Steer Show in February.

Kyria said it’s a lot of work year-round but an event like the one in San Antonio makes it all worth it. 

“A lot of hours of hard work spent with the calves in the morning, at night and weekends. All day, every day during the summer,” Kyria said. “San Antonio was an amazing show and our first time ever to get branded as a reserve breed champion and reserve champion Red Cross. It was an amazing experience.”

“And placing where I did, I was able to attend the final drive in the rodeo arena. So the breed champions were walked down to the rodeo arena at the San Antonio rodeo that night and they picked the grand champion steer there. So it was a special experience to be in the room with my calf,” Kyria remembered. 

Kyria said working with the calf and developing a solid relationship with them is the most important element to success. Judges look for structure and muscle but also how to person showing and the animal interact together. 

Kyria hopes to integrate her work with steers and her academic work (she is on the Latexo UIL math team) into a solid future. 

“I think agriculture has always been part of my life since I moved here. And I think it would mean a lot to go to Texas A&M and pursue something in the STEM field or something in agriculture – but I have definitely not decided yet,” Kyria said. 

With supportive classmates who sometimes watch her show when the event is live-streamed, Kyria noted how much working in FFA and with her steers has helped her. She would recommend it to any sixth-grader like herself thinking about getting into it. 

“I would definitely recommend it,” she said. “It’s a life-changing experience if they’re willing to put the work in. It’s something that has definitely changed my life for the better and it teaches you a lot of responsibility and discipline. I mean, it’s taught me so many things. It’s brought me out of my shell. I would not be speaking to you here today if it wasn’t for showing calves. I’ve met so many people and it’s made me a lot better person.”

Kyria’s humble demeanor and quiet voice do not give away the strength she has gained from showing calves. If you can face down all those people at a San Antonio steer show with a calf you raised and suffered for, you can probably do just about anything. 

Kyria agreed. 

“Yeah, it’s – it’s amazing and I love what I get to do.”

Greg Ritchie can be reached at [email protected]

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