Prep time for Cumberland Exhibition

Hannah Morton
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OXFORD - Nicole Matheson, 15, is a member of the three-way 4-H Club. Matheson has been showing beef and dairy cattle since she first joined the club six years ago.
After a successful showing at the Oxford Exhibition and 4-H provincials last year, Matheson says she hopes to keep the ball rolling when the Cumberland County Exhibition opens Monday in Oxford.
"Trisha won first place in every class she entered so I'm really hoping that we'll have a good showing again this year," said Matheson.
"Even if we don't do well, it's OK. It's fun to take care of the her and go to the events," said Matheson.
Matheson devotes a lot of her time to caring for Trisha and other animals at her grandparents farm near Oxford.
Every night, she has to brush them, feed them and make sure they are properly cared for. Leading up to events like the Oxford exhibition, the regimen is even more intense.
The animals have to have their feet and hair clipped and styled with special products similar to hair spray and hair dye for animals.
In total, Matheson spent about $90 on the products for the exhibition this year. It'll be worth every penny, she said.
"Brushing their hair back makes their coat look fuller and makes the heifer look bigger which means they get a good score from the judges because they have a lot of meat on them," said Matheson.
Trisha won't be the only one being judged in the ring.
Matheson will also be judged on her showmanship of the animal.
Matheson must prove that she has trained the animal to go in its' halter with ease and she must also demonstrate good use of her show stick, which she uses to direct Trisha.
"I do this because I love animals," said Matheson.
"Trisha is my baby. I love taking care of her."
One day, Matheson hopes to be an SPCA officer so that she can help animals in distress.
Look for Matheson and Trisha on Tuesday at the Cumberland County Exhibition grounds when they will take to the ring at around 11:30 a.m.

Organizations: Cumberland County Exhibition, 4-H Club, Oxford Exhibition

Geographic location: OXFORD

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