SAN ANTONIO – A local group of women fundraisers made a $125,000 impact on junior livestock competitors at Saturday’s auction.
One owner and trainer, Statton Shertz, drove seven hours from Ropesville to compete in the San Antonio Livestock Competition. She left with a pleasant surprise of a hefty final price for selling her steer.
Shertz also won Grand Champion in the Any Other Breeds division, but it’s what he met in the auction ring that spelled a job well done.
When Nitro sauntered into the spotlight at the auction ring, a group of women waving yellow roses began to whoop and holler, driving up excitement and the bidding till it reached $13,000, quite a bit more than estimated.
“I wasn’t expecting that. Wow. I’m very excited,” said Stratton on her way to take pictures with her ribbons and family. But her surprise and joy is exactly what the San Antonio Rodeo Roses have been planning all year.
Traci Brodbeck has been with the young group for 10 years and is the self-proclaimed “head cheerleader” at the auction.
“We are going to support these kids, especially those kids that don’t have a lot of money coming across the stage,” she says, teary-eyed. “When a kid walks across the stage for like $3,000, that’s ridiculous. It takes $6,000 to feed the steer for a year. “
So goes the mission of the San Antonio Roses, who plan fundraisers all year to produce a wallet capable of making difference when the auction begins.
After 32 champion steers take the ring, that’s when the Roses really kick into gear, giving a rousing “Yee Haw” cheer when they bid to help raise the price of animals that didn’t make the top cut.
Young children and teenagers walk in alone and stand with their ribbons as the crowd bids up their animal’s prices.
“They get so excited. And what we do, besides supporting monetarily, is bring energy to the room and the kids,” says Brodbeck. Some of the children decorate their steers with roses or even carry yellow rose bouquets to get a better bid.
The top bid-getter was a Charolais cross named Travis, who walked off the stage with $180,000. The owner of this Grand Champion was 18 years old.