The V8 Travel Log: Adventures at the 2022 ABBA Jambalaya Classic

Brahman Bull with Brahman Cow

May 17, 2022

The V8 Travel Log:

Adventures at the 2022 Jambalaya Classic

Jim and Luann Williams traveled from Boling, TX to Lake Charles, LA with their daughter Catherine Williams Neumayr to attend the 2022 ABBA Jambalaya Classic, held May 6-8, 2022. What happened at this year’s Classic? Catherine shares her perspective on the weekend in the V8 travel log.

THURSDAY, May 5, 2022:

Jeff Richard and Mikey Curry loaded the cattle into the trailer and headed east to Lake Charles. The 3-hour drive from the ranch to Lake Charles is a familiar one for Jeff as he is, of course, from Louisiana. We put 10 head (which is all we could fit!) in our ‘fancy’ three-axle trailer. If you’ve ever seen this trailer, you know my ‘fancy’ comment is a little tongue-in-cheek. Purchased by my grandpa, Sloan Williams, and in use for many years, this red, metal workhorse of a trailer is the longest one we have on the ranch, and it’s seen many, many miles! One of its most famous trips was to Oklahoma City in 2021 for the Cattlemen’s Congress. It was a cold ride, and we covered the trailer in plywood to provide the cattle with some warmth from the wind. We really looked ‘fancy’ then! We don’t mind the old country trailer; as my dad always says: “It’s not the trailer you take, it’s what you unload off the trailer when you get there!”

FRIDAY, May 6, 2022:

My usual running buddies, my husband, Luke and my son, Knox, were unable to attend. Luke was in College Station photographing a wedding, and Knox stayed back at the ranch to spend time with his grandmother who had flown in from Indiana for the weekend. My parents and I did have great company with us, though – my best friend, Anne McCain, decided to join us.

Our first stop of the trip was in Sugarland, Texas, where my dad went to see an orthopedic doctor. Earlier in the week, while loading a bull we had sold, he injured his shoulder. He had already received the diagnosis of an 80% tear in his rotator cuff. In Sugarland, Dad received a wonderful report of “no surgery needed” and left with a prescription for physical therapy only. We celebrated the good news with a delicious lunch at El Tiempo in Stafford, Texas.  

After lunch, we hopped on Interstate 10 to head to Lake Charles; the drive always seems to take longer than I remember! Thankfully, my mom drove us the whole way. We stayed at the Golden Nugget and had fun playing the penny slots before calling it an early night, so we’d be well-rested for show day. Anne and I are both Las Vegas fans, but my parents have never been. I always hope a trip to the Nugget will entice them to join us in Vegas one day, but since Dad prefers the simplest, old-school slot machines the Nugget has to offer, I think Lake Charles may be more his speed! 

Saturday, May 7, 2022

It was an early morning wake-up call so we could head to Open Show Day at the 2022 ABBA Jambalaya Classic; we met in the lobby at 6:30 am to make the 15-minute drive to the Burton Complex. Upon arrival at the barn, we were glad to see that Bailey and Brett Richard came to the show to help Mikey, Jeff, and the V8 team. You know we can’t go to a show without our Richard family! 

Showtime At the Jambalaya Classic

As always, the show started with the group classes. The ET Produce gave us a chance to show a new young produce that we haven’t shown before, progeny out of Miss V8 829/6. The two full-sister heifers sired by Sloan were our own Miss V8 439/9 and Miss V8 443/9, who sold to Tate Barnes in Made for Magic IV.  We were delighted that Tate Barnes brought his heifer, and, boy, did those sisters look good together! It’s always good to get new produce out, and though the heifers were a little nervous (seeing as how this was their first time out), we are very excited about their future. We have lots of options for a produce on 829/6, as we have several other sons and daughters out on the show road right now. Just off the top of my head, I can think of Miss V8 472/9 “Magic,” Mr. V8 23/9 “Rodeo Red,” Miss V8 522/9 (by Big Mack), Mr. V8 80/9, and Bailey Malone’s Mr. V8 54/9. All are out of that same cow, 829/6!

Our other ET produce out of cow +Miss V8 879/6 won the class of nine. Pathfinder and his brother, shown by Grace McCall, have been a pretty tough ET Produce this year.

Our Get of Sire of +Mr. V8 146/8 “Sloan” was first out of three shown.

You can see the full show results on our Champions page, but to summarize, we had Grand Champion Bull (Pathfinder), Reserve Grand Champion Female (279/9), Calf Champion Bull (44/9) and Female (Magic), Senior Champion Bull (Black Diamond), two Reserve Divisions, and 9 class winners.

One of those Reserve Divisions was our new polled cow, Miss HMC Polled 129/1 (PP) “Lily.” This was her first outing in the V8 show string, and the first time we’ve had a non-V8 in our showstring in decades. Everyone finds this very exciting. I’ll be honest, I love all our show cattle, but Lily may be our family’s favorite. She has an outstanding personality, and she loves being a show cow; she can really turn it on in the ring! The judge talked about how tough her class was; Lily stood second to the Grand Champion Female, and the judge kept them together for division, too.

Sweaty, tired, and hungry after a full day, we had a fun meal with the Barnes family while watching the running of the Kentucky Derby on TV; it was a great way to spend our Saturday night!

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Sunday was the Junior Show. We arrived just in time to see the Pee-Wee Showmanship, where Quinn (Bailey Richard’s daughter) showed 279/9. Quinn can really stick one! The judges commented that if there was a winner of the Pee-Wee division, it would have been Quinn. Little Sloan Richard (under 1 year old) also “showed” in Pee-Wee, with an assist from his dad, Brett. They took our gentle giant, Pathfinder, out in the ring.

Once the show started, we were excited to see the V8 juniors take to the ring and do some winning! In the bull show, Grace McCall, and her bull Mr. V8 875/8 (Pathfinder’s full brother) earned Grand Champion. Brant Barnes and Mr. V8 934/8 were Reserve Grand Champion; this was Brant’s first time to show 934/8 since purchasing him in the Jones bull sale in March. Hayden Engelke, a second-generation V8 junior, won his division with his V8 heifer. Ross Turner also showed his little bull, Mr. V8 118/9, whom they have named “Luke.” 

We didn’t stay too long at the 2022 ABBA Jambalaya Classic on Sunday because we wanted to get back to Texas to wish my grandmother, Mollie, a Happy Mother’s Day in person. 

It was a great weekend, and I look forward to coming back for the next show. The last time I went to the ABBA Jambalaya Classic was (too many) years ago when it was the National Show and held in Gonzales, Louisiana. I liked the Lake Charles location much better: it’s closer; the casinos are nearby; and we don’t have to cross the Atchafalaya Basin bridge

Thank you to Dakota Smith for being a wonderful host to the Brahman breeders who traveled to Lake Charles. Our show cattle at the 2022 ABBA Jambalaya Classic were under the care of Jeff Richard. Mikey Curry and Brett Richard, who showed the V8 cattle did a fantastic job, as usual. This was our final show of the 2021-2022 show season, and what a great season it has been! Our next show will be the Bluebonnet Kickoff Classic in Bryan, Texas, August 2-7, 2022.

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