Jr. Market Steer Grand Champion ties the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo record at $1 million

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Photo via Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

March 16, 2024—HOUSTON, Texas— The 2024 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ Grand Champion Steer was ‘Woozy,’ a Simmental raised by Blaize Benson of San Angelo, Texas. The Steer sold at auction for $1 million, tying the record for HLSR.

The donors for Lot 1 were Barbara & Don Jordan, Laura & Steve McNear, and Chris & Lisa Cunningham.
In 2022, Don Jordan set the record Steer bid to celebrate his and HLSR’s 90th birthdays. He came back this year with his hopes set on keeping that coveted title. “This year, I wanted to defend the world record that I have, and my fellow buyers were nice enough to help me make that a reality.”

Don also spoke about his personal love for the HLSR. “I’ve been involved with this organization for over 70 years; I care about it, and there are so many other people that do as well...everybody here contributes what they can and that’s what makes it a genius organization,” he said. “In February 1948, I took a bus to Houston alone and caught a calf in the calf scramble that changed my life, and I’ve been involved in it ever since aside from when I was in college and the U.S. Navy.”

After hearing the sale results, Benson discussed how grateful he was to show on the green shavings. “I’m incredibly blessed to be here and am grateful to the man above who put me in this situation,” Benson said. Benson’s mother, Chelsie Benson, discussed how much of an impact the HLSR will have on Blaize. “He works really hard, and we’ve done this since he was eight. It doesn’t go this way very often; I know this is a core memory that he’ll have forever.”

Blaize and his family have shown at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo since 2017, except 2020. “It’s really amazing to be able to watch your child’s dreams come true,” Chelsie said. “It was something he has dreamt of since he started coming here. Watching through his eyes has been incredible.”

The Reserve Grand Champion was sold to Robert Clay & Dana Barton, John O’Shea & Pam Carmain, Becky & Kelly Joy, and Ben Berg & Diego Berg for $650,000. “It’s just all surreal right now,” Madelyn “Maddie” Shickendanz of Perryton, Texas, said, “I don’t think it’s really set in... I’ve been on the sale floor before, but never like that as a reserve grand champion.”

As a high school senior, Shickendanz has completed her journey with Texas Majors; however, she will continue to compete at a national level, improving her own herd throughout college. “I maintain my own herd of cattle and show cattle as well, so I’ll be able to get some more cows out there and raise some more babies,” Shickendanz said.

Clay has donated to the HLSR since 2015. “We’ve been doing this for a long time. I’ve been involved in the show since 1991,” Clay said. “Houston is a great place to be, the Rodeo is a great place to be, but these kids are our future, and that’s how we want to spend our money by giving scholarships to them.”

Press Release via Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

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