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Steer sold in 2005 lives on at fair

August 26, 2006|by MATTHEW UMSTEAD

LEETOWN, W.Va. - Samantha Cogle had a difficult time parting with Baby Boy at the 2005 Jefferson County Fair's livestock auction.

The 13-year-old Jefferson County 4-Her admitted Friday she had become attached to the lightweight champion shorthorn steer that was born and raised on her parents' farm off Kabletown Road.

A friendly bovine, the 18-month-old "baby" was the first cow to allow her to lay on his back, Samantha said.

"He was just like a big baby. He followed you wherever you went," Samantha said. "He was really friendly."

"It was kind of hard to let go of him because I really loved him," she said.

Cogle's affection for the animal was so great, her father, Billy, made it possible for the steer to return this year - well, sort of.

Baby Boy's hide was saved at the slaughterhouse last year, then tanned by Corbin's Wildlife Art Taxidermy in Gerrardstown, W.Va.

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"I just thought it would be cool ... if I brought a steer back twice to the fair," Samantha said.

The splotchy white and reddish hide of the roan shorthorn eventually will find a place in Samantha's bedroom, once the smell of the tanning treatment fades, she said.

"It's been sitting on one of the recliners in the living room," she said.

Dressed in dark red work boots, blue jeans and a green T-shirt, Samantha didn't have to say goodbye Friday night to Wild Thing, her steer for this year's fair.

The 1,222-pound bovine was not one of the 26 beef cattle scheduled to be sold Friday night at the livestock auction

Thelma, her Blue Butt pig, and Lambchops, a Suffolk-Dorset cross lamb were to be sold, Samantha said.

"If she didn't like (showing animals), she wouldn't do it again," said Billy Cogle, who began showing cattle at the Jefferson County Fair 24 years ago. He and his wife, Mary, own The BilMar, an 18.5-acre farm with a herd of 25 brood cows, in addition to calves and a bull.

"It's her day - I'm nobody," Cogle said. "I'm the chief bill payer and truck driver."

This year was his daughter's fifth as a member of the Black Bears 4-H club, but Cogle said she first showed a cow - a heifer - when she was 3.

Cogle said he had raised cross-bred cattle before his wife suggested they try something different in 2000.

"With a shorthorn, it's like a Christmas present, you don't know what you get until it shows up," Cogle said of the breed's unique markings and colors.

"We've had a lot of fun with it in the last five, six years," he said.

Aside from Samantha's steer, her brother, Warren, 18, showed two cows, and the farm entered three more.

The siblings' younger sister, Madison, 4, hasn't shown an animal, yet.

Her older sister isn't sure what she will do when she grows up, but admits it probably will be a profession that involves animals.

Samantha admits talking to them, but also understands they likely haven't a clue what she is saying.

"When they're acting up, I tell them," Samantha said. Sometimes, they listen. Other times, not so much.

Baby Boy never caused a problem.

"He was a really good steer," Cogle said.

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