Although Tripp Phillips of Mount Pleasant, TX is one of the youngest Livestock Show winners to be spotlighted on this blog, don’t be fooled by his age. After six years of showing, veteran 13-year-old Tripp decided he was ready to challenge himself and switched from showing pigs to showing heifers. “I wanted to step up from showing hogs, and I had a lot of friends showing heifers. I knew I’d get to spend more time with them if I showed a heifer, too.”
Like many young showers, Tripp has a large, cooperative community helping him achieve his goals. “My uncle Ryon taught me the ropes of showing livestock and is the one that got me started.” Tripp explains “My family actually lives in town and we keep the livestock at my grandparents’ house so our routine might be a little different. We will feed in the morning outside if it is nice and while I am at school my uncle would put her in the barn for me with fans. My parents are my drivers and they take me everywhere. When I get done with school we will go straight to the barn to water and clean stalls. After a quick snack, I wash and blow dry and leave her tied up until it is time to feed. When she is done eating I turn her out on a round bale of hay.”
In addition to family, Tripp says the ag community of Mount Pleasant was a big help. “My ag teachers made a huge impact in supporting me with weekly check-ups and making sure I had everything I needed at the shows. We also have several family friends who show, so it wasn’t strange for me to get a ride with them if I needed.”
However, as everyone knows, a major key to show success is a good animal. Through the challenges of the raising and showing process, Tripp and his heifer Baize developed a special relationship. “When she was young she was stubborn. You wouldn’t know it now but we did not think it was going to be possible to get Baize halter broken.” Tripp says “But once we got through that and she got into the swing of things, we became the best of friends. I always looked forward to coming home to wash and dry her. It was a great bonding experience.”
For Tripp, that’s the best part of showing heifers. “I love being able to have a friend to show. It is easy to call heifers friends since we spend so much time with them and get to keep them forever.”
The Phillips family made sure Tripp’s friend was healthy and happy by feeding the Hi-Pro Rapid Start Pellet based on a recommendation from their friends the Barber family, who sold them their heifer. “We really like the grow it gives the cattle and the ability to keep them fresh all season long.” Tripp explains.
Nutrition, community, family, and friendship were the winning combination for Tripp Phillips and Baize, who won Reserve Grand Champion at the National Junior Hereford Expo. Such a huge show was a new experience for Tripp “This was my first ever junior nationals so I was very nervous when I got there to see how many people were there from all over the US. Thankfully we went with the Barber Family so I was surrounded by family and friends who helped me keep calm and even meet new people. When I won I was so shocked my face just went blank. I was not expecting to win!”
Tripp’s experience with Baize was so positive, he’s ready to show cows again. “I love showing cows.” He says “It’s more fun, because you go more places and meet more people. It also involves a lot more effort. It challenges you to move on, get over stuff and strive to be better.”
Tripp Phillips continues, “The show ring is my happy place. I love showing off my animal to people. It’s who I am now.”
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