With the screech of the trailer door as you close it up, mental note made to grease it later, the stock is loaded along with what seems like an insane amount of feed and tack, and with that you’re off to the show.
Whether it’s a half hour drive to the county show, a four hour drive to the state fair or a cross country trek spanning 24+ hours on the way to nationals, show of hands who’s been there and done that, the drive there is half the fun. But today, you’re on your way to OKC for The Greatest Show.
For the first time showman, the nerves and excitement are through the roof, but you’re not quite sure what to expect. Mom and Dad are fully aware that 4 a.m. will come way too soon and know that trying to drag both kid and calf to the wash rack at that point in the morning will be a struggle. But the moment everyone makes it to the ring, the struggles will be worth it.
For the experienced showman, that drive to the show could not go fast enough. With headphones on, jamming to The Greatest Show soundtrack, and your hand in a bag of Sour Patch Kids, the rush to get back in the ring and in the barn with your friends is at an all time high. Dad literally can’t drive fast enough.
For the senior, aging out and this being their last time in the ring, the drive is bittersweet. For the past 10+ years, you’ve spent every spring break, ever summer, every brutally cold day in the barns and the ring working to become the best showman you can be. The friends you’ve made will last a lifetime and the memories will be with you forever. But on that drive your mind whirls, knowing this will be the last time you enter the ring, the last chance you have to make your mark.
So as you make your way to the city next week, take a moment to take the headphones off, take a break from the sugar induced coma you’re about to put yourself in, and set some goals. Whether it’s to ride in the limo, to make it past the sift pen, place in the Skillathon or simply to make some new friends, set a goal or two.
Because as the truck and trailer roll onto the fairgrounds in OKC, you better be ready to bring your A-game. For this is the greatest show.