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Whitaker successful at cattle hobby

Cassie Whitaker loves to show-off.

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Cassie tends to a new born calf at her family's dairy farm near Harlem.
Photo by Jim Blaylock/Morris News Service
But it's not about her. She lets the cows take center stage.

"I show cows," said Cassie, an 18-year-old Harlem resident who lives near the Columbia and McDuffie County line and is a senior at Briarwood Academy.

Recently, Cassie won nine first place blue ribbons at a cow show in Clemson, S.C., on March 13. Some of her accolades include Reserve Junior Champion, Reserve Grand Champion and Senior showmanship.

"I like taking my cows out. I have many friends that show cows and the only time I see them is when I go to these shows," she said.

Unlike most girls her age, Cassie prefers spending quality time with her 800 cows on her parents' estate, Whitaker Dairy Farm.

"My friends use to be like, 'Oh, my goodness. You show cows.' But now they're all jealous because I get (excused from) school when I have a show."

Every day after school and even on the weekends, Cassie feeds and cares for her dairy cows at her show barn, where they are born and raised. Just like a dog with a leash at a dog show, she has to teach her cows how to walk and stand still, wearing a halter breaker while being judge on their body composition. For the 11 cows she exhibits, they must be well groomed. That's why a family friend from Minnesota flies out to the farm to clip their hair.

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Cassie Whitaker, 18, leads Sage, one of her show cows, out of the barn at her family's dairy farm near Harlem. Cassie has been showing cows for eight years.
Photo by Jim Blaylock/Morris News Service
Cassie said she fell in love with the sport, which she considers a hobby, eight years ago when she and her father, Lee Whitaker, visited one of his friends in Athens.

"Daddy took some cows to Athens and his friends let me show one of his heifers, and I've been showing ever since," she said, mentioning that her father encouraged her to participate in the sport because he showed cows when he was her age.

And since then, Cassie's track record has proved she has honed her skills.

"I guess when people play sports they enjoy doing that, and mine is showing cows," she said. "It's fun to win."



Web posted on Wednesday, April 6, 2005











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