UPEI student wins big for P.E.I. at Royal Winter Fair
'You just kind of need to work as a team. It takes a lot of practice'
P.E.I.'s Maddie Stewart left the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto with her calf finishing second of 355 entries and was named reserve grand champion.
The 18-year-old UPEI student was joined by seven other young Islanders to compete as members of the 4-H Royal Dairy Team.
Stewart has been a member of 4-H P.E.I. for about 10 years.
Second time competing
"It was really exciting. It was basically a once in a lifetime opportunity and I'm glad to have had the opportunity to experience it," said Stewart.
Stewart had to qualify at an Island-wide fair in September to move on to compete at The Royal.
Having one previous experience of competing at the Royal Winter Fair in 2015 under her belt, Stewart was more confident at this year's competition, she said.
"I was older now. I was more comfortable working with the calves."
Stewart's calf Sasha caught the judge's eye early on in the competition. "She always looked good. She had a good set of feet and legs," she said.
Key to success
Getting her calf ready for The Royal took a lot of hard work, she said, and making your calf comfortable is key.
Stewart worked on building a relationship with her calf over the summer leading up to the competition.
"You just kind of need to work as a team. It takes a lot of practice. Almost everyday doing that throughout the summer."
The summer was marked by a lot of grooming, handling and daily visits to Sasha's pen. "She always knew when I was gonna take her for a walk."
The Dairy Team was also joined by 4-H members competing in the National Junior Beef Heifer Show.
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With files by Nancy Russell