January 22, 2019
Many know from personal experience that participation in school activities can teach young people the value of teamwork. However, few embody this quite as well as the award-winning Connally Twins. Breann and Brandi Connally, 15 years old, live in Coolidge, Texas. In addition to livestock judging and playing volleyball, the pair are very accomplished in the show ring. Just last year the pair won one Reserve Champion, seven Reserve Grand Champion, and eight Grand Champion prizes showing both wethers and ewes.
Breann says “We are referred to as the ‘Connally Twins’ because the sheep that we show don’t belong to one of us, we share all of them, and we win together. We don’t consider our wins separate. The things that we win, we win together.”
Brandi concurs, “When we win, it isn’t only one of us that wins, it is both of us. We both put in the hours, and we both win.”
“Also, working together is great,” Breann adds “It really splits the work load in half. Since there are two of us, we are able to get more done at the barn in a period of time, than if there was only one of us.”
The girls started out in livestock shows as little tykes helping out their big sister. However, by age 9, they were ready to give it a try on their own. Over their 8 years of showing, they have shown both wethers and ewes. However, they both prefer ewes. “I really do prefer to show ewes over wethers,” Brandi says “mainly because you get to see them reproduce and carry their genetics through future generations of show stock.”
Breann mentions, “I really enjoy seeing how their offspring compare to them, and enjoy watching how our show ewes change and transform into breeding ewes.”
When asked if there is ever a need for compromise, both girls say no. “Being twins, we always do everything together. Showing sheep was no different.” says Brandi. “And we both feel so fortunate to be involved with such great breeders, Pruitt Livestock, Schminke, and Valentine Club Lambs.”
As with most champions, a strict exercise routine and nutrition program are key to the Connally’s success. For Breann and Brandi, it also includes a lot of teamwork. Breann explains “We have a specific routine when we feed, one of us will feed and one of us will empty all of the waters and refill them. We believe that clean water is the key to keeping your animals drinking an adequate amount of water every day. We use the Hi-Pro Lamb Grower feed from when they arrive at our house until they leave for majors. For exercise, we take two different groups of our sheep on different days. We warm them up on the walker for about 10-15 minutes then take one off at a time and put them on the treadmill for about five minutes apiece.”
“We chose to feed Hi-Pro because it has everything in it that our sheep need.” Brandi says “We never have a problem getting them to eat it. Some feeds can vary from bag to bag, but we have always found consistency with Hi-Pro.”
Though they are twins, when the show day comes around, both deal with the pressure a bit differently. For Breann, it’s all about consistency “I am kind of relaxed on the days before but when show day arrives, I instantly become nervous. When I get ready on show day, I do everything the same every time. It’s kind of a superstition of mine.”
Brandi, however, feels more excited than nervous. “I always feel like I have put in the work, and done everything I can. At that point, there really isn’t anything to be nervous about.”
Out of all their wins and accolades, both girls have moments that stood out to them. For Brandi, it was the Heart of Texas Jackpot show. “The Heart of Texas is one of the biggest shows in Central Texas! I never thought walking into the ring that day that I would walk out with Grand Champion.”
Breann’s moment was at the Fall Classic. “It was a huge surprise for me. I didn’t really suspect that the judge was going to use me to reserve the show. I was ecstatic when he came over and shook my hand!”
For the immediate future, Brandi and Breann are looking forward to the Connally’s 25 ewes of Pruitt Livestock, Schminke, and Droppert genetics that are going to begin lambing soon. Additionally, both girls plan to show sheep for as long as they can, in spite of the challenges. Breann says “Trying to balance academics, showing, volleyball and trying to get enough sleep each night comes as a real challenge to us when it comes to staying on a strict feeding schedule. In spite of that, I’ll definitely keep showing until I graduate.”
Brandi agrees “We learned so much just by being around show animals for most of our lives. It has always been a part of us, and we wouldn’t give it up for anything in the world. We love what we do.”
Hi-Pro Feeds is proud to have two accomplished young women as a part of our winning tradition.
For more information on our Show Feeds, click here.