FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Every step has to be in the right spot. Every hair has to be in the right place. Every meal is fine-tuned.
Exhibitors like Lubbock’s Karley Rayfield, hope it leads to a premium sale for their animal that could bring them hundreds of thousands of dollars.READ MORE: Appeals Court Ruling Keeps Abortion Ban In Place In Texas
“I just feel like I have to do the best, because I’ve put in a lot of work, and so have my parents, and I don’t want to let anybody down,” she said.
And just like with any other big competition, sometimes competitors look to get an edge.
Since 1996, the Fort Worth Stock Show has had a substance abuse policy.
Its champions, reserve champions and any show animal testers choose at random, are tested for substances including steroids, diuretics, anti-inflammatory, tranquilizers and pain pills.
“People want to enhance their performance in the show ring,” said head veterinarian Dr. Bill Anderson. “And so they’re not walking oddly, they might want to use certain things, well they can’t do that.”READ MORE: Amtrak Train From Fort Worth Crashes In Oklahoma, Four Hurt
Anderson pointed out, there are more reasons for the testing than just keeping things fair.
“Which number one is a healthy animal,” he said. “And number two is no drug or chemical residue left in the meat.”
Some of these animals will go to market, where they will have to pass federal food testing.
Requiring tomorrow’s farmers follow the rules for one animal, helps ensure they follow them later, when they might raise thousands – a responsibility young exhibitors are well aware of.
“I think it’s a good thing to make sure nobody’s cheating,” Rayfield said. “Nobody’s doing anything they shouldn’t and so it doesn’t contaminate meat people are going to be eating”
The show did not have any positive tests last year, but they have come up before.MORE NEWS: Critical Race Theory Law Could Be Behind Latest Southlake Racism Controversy
They would forfeit the prize if that happened, and Anderson said that’s made a big difference in compliance over the last several years.