Callie ruined his chances of winning last fall and winter.

Isaac Carter, an eighth-grader at Indian Creek Middle School, took his heifer, Callie, out to multiple showmanship competitions before the Johnson County fair.

She was all over the place. She wouldn’t keep her legs still and wouldn’t behave for Carter. Callie and Carter placed last at one competition.

“I couldn’t blame her, she was so little and getting used to the crowds,” he said.

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Carter worked with her. He brushed and bathed her daily, fed her and let her out to pasture.

Months later, he and Callie were named the champion of showmanship for the intermediate class at the Johnson County fair.

He credits the dramatic turnaround with spending time with her and letting her know that he was someone she could trust, he said.

“It’s just being with the calf and letting her trust you,” he said.

In the show ring Tuesday, he showed the judges what he had been working on with Callie. He kept her front leg up and her back leg back to show her off and he had complete control over her in the ring.

Judges noticed and named him the winner of his class.

“They are making sure you are showing the calf and the calf isn’t showing you,” Carter said.

After the dramatic start of the year he had with Callie, he was glad the work paid off, he said.

“(It’s like), if you went to a baseball game and you hit a home run,” he said.

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Annie Goeller is managing editor of the Daily Journal. She can be reached at or 317-736-2718.