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Local 4-H member earns titles at Ontario cattle show

TRURO - Nearly "bawling" on the inside, Jenna Mattatall struggled to maintain her outward composure as the judge strolled towards her.

Truro-North River 4-H member Jenna Mattatall and her father Basil Hoare, the club's beef leader, recently returned from the Junior Beef Expo in London, Ont., where they came away with bragging rights as the Grand Champion in the breeding female category as well as the Supreme Champion, Overall Breeds. The latter title earned Jenna $1,000 and she received another $90 for the first win.

"I was keeping it together as much as a I could," said the 15-year-old member of the Truro-North River 4-H Club, regarding her recent experience at the Junior Beef Expo in London, Ont.

"I could not explain to you the emotions just going into the ring," she said, adding her father Basil Hoare had attempted to help control her normally steeled composure.

"I usually don't get too worked up about anything," she said. "But he told me to calm down before I go into the ring because I was (showing) the lead heifer."

In the end, however, Mattatall had little to worry about. Not only did her heifer claim title as Grand Champion in the breeding female Angus category, she also came away with bragging rights as the Supreme Champion, Overall Breeds.

For the first title she received a $90 prize. But winning the Supreme Champion competition earned her a smooth $1,000 bonus.

"We were the underdogs because we were the only people from out of province," Mattatall said.

To finish in the middle of the pack would have been a "good day while placing first or second in one of the shows would have made for "a great day."

"But when it's supreme overall, it's a really good day," she said.

"We went up with hopes to do well," Hoare added. "But we just happened to do extra well, I guess."

Mattatall and her father, who is the club's beef leader, have been involved in 4-H for seven years. She said the club has served her well.

And while a lot of time and effort are involved in preparing a cow for such a show, being a 4-H member is overall "just a lot of fun," she said.

"I love every minute of it and I stay in it because of the life-long friendships I've made. I find it really helps with the public speaking ... people skills and just everything."

As for near-future aspirations, a nationwide 4-H Angus cattle show is scheduled at the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition in Bible Hill in late July and the father/daughter duo are also hoping to attend the Royal Agriculture Winter Fair in Toronto in the fall.

Twitter: @tdnharry


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