Hobson’s Kristen Vincent balances hard work and fun

By: 
Christina Clinton
News-Argus Staff

Kristen (center with ball) and her volleyball team – the Tri-City Titans – compete at the state volleyball tournament last November (also pictured: Morgan Wertheimer, Devyn Hughes, Brianna Bergum and Alyssa Thomas).

Photo courtesy of Kristen Vincent

 

With the new school year on fast approach, 16-year-old Kristen Vincent – fresh from successful cattle showings at multiple fairs in Central Montana – faces her upcoming junior year as she apparently does everything else: with a strong work ethic and determination to have fun and enjoy it. This summer, Kristen spent most of it doing just that, honing and polishing her cattle-showing skills as she attended local and State fairs, soaking in the experience along with the sun’s rays.

“During the summer, I show cattle,” Kristen said. “It’s an experience to get around and meet new people, see new livestock, and I learn new things at shows. It’s just enjoyable. I also went to a 4-H Congress this year. It was my first year going to congress,” she added, “but I’ve shown cattle since I was about nine. I took a steer and two heifers to the Central Montana Fair.”

While showing cattle is hard work, Kristen says it gets easier over time.

“I show Black Angus and also mixed-breed calves. Black Angus can be moody sometimes but they’re overall pretty good. I halter-break them as calves so they’re pretty mellow by the time they’re shown,” she said. “Over the years of showing, you learn ‘a different judge, a different day,’” she added. “Just keep going and don’t give up.”

With seven years of ribbons on her belt, Kristen’s earned confidence supports her when it comes to her showing style.

“I have a pretty good routine that works,” she said, “so there isn’t much I would change. I do livestock judging in 4-H; seeing all the livestock and cattle really helps with that.” After a thoughtful pause, Kristen added, “I guess for Showmanship for showing cattle, there are things I’ve noticed that I could do better. You learn by watching other people and seeing different show styles.”

Seeing different show styles is something else she grew up with; before Kristen showed cattle herself, she watched her sisters.

“I always watched my sisters showing cattle,” she said, “and it is something I really enjoy.”

It’s fortunate Kristen has fun doing something she enjoys, as she still has one more fair to attend before switching gears to sports and the new school year.

“I actually have one more fair,” Kristen said. “I went to the Central Montana Fair in Lewistown, the State Fair in Great Falls, and next is my county fair in Stanford. It’s tiring,” she admitted, “but it’s what I like to do and what I do. It’s my summer job.”

Her fall job, during school it seems, is volleyball. Kristen is a team member of the Tri-City Titans, and there isn’t a lot of leeway between cattle shows and volleyball and school beginning for the season.

“Volleyball season starts this Friday,” Kristen noted, “so not much time to unwind before volleyball and school starts. We [the team] had a couple [of] open gyms and went to Big Sky State Games.”

It does sound like Kristen looks forward to the upcoming season.

“I do enjoy volleyball. If I could get a scholarship to do it in college, it’d be pretty cool, but we’ll see if I stray too far from agricultural stuff,” she added with a laugh.

Speaking of college, while as a junior, there is still plenty of time to consider potential schools, Kristen has already given some thought to her scholastic future.

“I really enjoy animal science,” Kristen said. “I’d likely go into that area for college. Most likely MSU [Montana State University]. [I’m also interested in] livestock judging, too.”

Kristen is no stranger to ambition, yet does emphasize the importance of not taking life too seriously.

“Working hard does pay off,” she said. “You get out what you put in and all that good stuff. As long as you have fun doing it and you enjoy doing it, stick with it.”

One way Kristen applies this concept to her own life is by having a music speaker in the barn to help get the job done.

“I have a speaker in the barn that pretty much fills the whole barn with music,” she said, “so while I’m cleaning, I can listen. I have a lot of country music. I also have a mix of pump-up stuff; whatever pumps me up that I can sing and dance along to.”

Only her calves will hear it, as that’s where Kristen draws the line. When asked if she would add singing to her showmanship skills, Kristen said, “No.” Then laughed.

Fair enough.

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