Freshman Carly Wheeler is a dominating competitor who has established herself nationally with wins in various states. But you’d never know it to talk to her. She is humble, kind and has a servant’s heart. But when she’s competing she is a force to be reckoned with.
“Carly is very diligent with a passion for the agriculture industry,” Brandi Bognuda, THS Ag Instructor
Carly started showing livestock at age 5 and even at an early age “it was obvious that livestock was Carly’s passion”, said her mom Jessica.
Carly said, “I was born into a livestock family so I have been taking care of animals since I was little. I was always willing to help bottle feed a calf or go feed hay with my dad. When I turned old enough to show a heifer, I was so excited! All I wanted to do was go to the barn and work with my heifer. Ever since then I have had a passion for the livestock industry and all the amazing things it has to offer. Through showing, I have formed relationships with people who I would call some of my closest friends. I have had the opportunity to travel to amazing places around the country to do what I love most.”
The Wheeler family, like others involved in Livestock, travel all over the U.S. dragging livestock trailers full of animals feed, tack and supplies for their kids to compete in some of the most prestigious livestock shows around. At these competitions not only are animals judged on their quality in market classes, the showman’s ability to present the animal is judged in showmanship classes.
Carly spends hours a week feeding, washing, exercising and practicing showmanship with cattle and goats and travels many weekends a month to compete in livestock shows across the nation. When asked why she thinks she’s been so successful she said, “I think because of my competitive nature and dedication to do my very best. According to my dad, being successful takes hard work, dedication, and long hours in the barn.”
“Carly is competitive, successful and a leader who sets the bar high for herself and others,” Chris Hildebrand, THS Ag Instructor
She started showing cattle at a national level at age 9 at the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado and now competes from the west coast all the way to Kansas City, Missouri. And she has been quite successful at it. Her victories are numerous but here are few:
- She won the CA State Fair Market Steer and Heifer Show
- She won Cow Palace
- She won Reserve Steer at the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado
- She won Supreme Hereford Heifer at the Western National Hereford Show in Reno, Nevada.
- She has won the Mid-State Fair Market Steer, Market Goat and Heifer Show
- She has won the Market Steer, Market Goat and Heifer show at the Salinas Valley Fair
- She won Goat Showmanship at the Arizona Nationals in Phoenix, AZ
- She has also won Showmanship at many junior livestock shows including Western Bonanza, the Mid-State Fair and Salinas Valley Fair to name a few.
This past weekend she won Supreme Champion Steer in Ring B and Reserve Supreme Champion Steer in Ring A at Western Bonanza which is hosted by Cal Poly and is the largest junior livestock show west of the Mississippi.
“Winning Western Bonanza was not only amazing for me, but for my whole team! I obviously couldn’t do this all on my own. I am blessed to have so much support. It was very exciting because my family, friends, and I have been working very hard for the past couple of months preparing for show season and trying to get our animals looking their very best. It is an investment of time, money and effort,” Carly said.
But Carly doesn’t win every competition and she seems to have come to terms with that. She shared, “Through the livestock industry I have learned how to be a gracious loser. You can’t win a show everyday and sometimes you can only do so much to get your animal looking right. Sometimes animals get hurt, don’t want to eat their grain or drink water and they will not look their absolute best on “showday”. While it is disappointing to lose, it’s only one man’s opinion on that day. Losing makes you want to work even harder to reach your goal.”
Beyond the competitions Carly has taken a leadership role in helping others learn to fit cattle and goats, she teaches younger kids how to do showmanship and is now part of the Templeton FFA program where she recently competed in the Creed Competition and is an active participant on the THS Livestock Judging team.
When asked about the future she said, “Within the next couple of years, I would like to attend a 4 year Ag School. I hope to continue to have a successful Hereford Operation and I like to try to win The National Western Stock Show Market Steer Show.
Great job Carly we are inspired by your hard work, your diligence and your dedication. Your success is a result of all of these plus your love for what you do.