Cows’ Appearance An Art At Washington County Fair

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The heifer, beef and steer judging competition at the Washington County Fair has been compared to a beauty pageant and body building contest for cows.

Mason Walker, 14, was grooming Spooky the calf. She was born close to Halloween 2012.

"You're trying to make them look pretty," Walker said.

Spooky was just one of the many livestock animals on display Wednesday at the Washington County Fair, which will extend throughout the rest of the week.

The Livestock Arena looked like a hair salon. Showmen and show-women brushed cows' hair, spraying adhesive---which is like hairspray---to make the animals' hair fluffy.

"They are constantly under fans and daily grooming," Walker said.

Walker is nationally ranked, and he said for people in Washington County, this judging competition is a big deal.

"This is what they show for. They work their calves all year and maybe go to one or two jackpots in Arkansas," Walker said.

Katy Tunstill, who has also won many awards, also uses adhesive and brushes, along with white and black paint.

"Combing up the hair and spraying adhesive, which makes the legs thicker, which makes them look that they have bigger bones," Tunstill said.

The cows are also maintained in a 60 degree room temperature area.

"They are tricked to where they think it's winter so they grow hair, which makes them look fuller and more appealing," Tunstill said.

The contest is for kids from 5 to 19 years old and most are in clubs and youth groups. For several Washington County families, it's a tradition.

"Every memory that I have with my mom and dad are in the truck on our way to a livestock show," Tunstill said.

Click here for a Washington County Fair schedule.