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The Runnin’ Rebels, the Lady Rebels and the Owen County High School football team all had very successful seasons.
There are currently three young people from Owen County - Adam Clark, Robert Beverly and Kendall Yount - chasing dreams of Olympic gold.
But so far, none of them have been named a national champion.
The distinction has been reserved for the competitor simply known as Meriwether.
This year, Meriwether has criss-crossed the country from Texas to Tennessee, from Ohio to Oklahoma, taking on all comers in her class. She has never been beaten.
Meriwether weighs 1,700 lbs., eats 40 lbs. of feed every day and is a Santa Gertrudis cow.
She is the offspring of Oh You Superstar, a fellow Owen County resident and grand champion winner. Her father is one of three cows from Kentucky that has won grand champion awards.
Sparta resident Larry Osborne preps Meriwether for competition and beat out over 130 competitors to take the title.
His grandson Dalton Osborne, a student at Turney High School in Missipippi, actually owns Meriwether but Larry Osborne raised the cow.
“She was grand champion at the Ohio State Fair, Kentucky, Tennessee, Lawrenceburg, (Tenn.), Memphis, Tulsa, the Texas State Fair, Fort Worth, Arkansas, the North American competition, and Jackson, Miss. which is the national show for the breed,” Larry Osborne said. “She has accumulated more points than any other animal.”
In competition, Meriwether is judged on her utter, feet, depth of body, her girth, neck and other attributes.
“She looks like she’s a little short but she’s 1700 pounds,” Larry Osborne said. “She is judged on how she walks.”
In preparation for competition, Larry Osborne makes sure Meriwether’s hooves are trimmed and clean and she has been fed right.
Larry Osborne said Meriwether downs about 40 pounds of feed a day to keep her in shape. She mainly dines on Bermuda grass and dry hay.
“You can’t give her too much or she will bloat up,” Larry Osborne said.
Larry Osborne said he is proud of Meriwether and what she accomplished but it doesn’t surpass the love of a pride grandfather.
“What she has done is really great but really, I’m much more proud of my grandson Dalton for making straight As and already getting academic scholarship offers,” Larry Osborne said.
With the national title secure, Meriwether’s future is also secure.
“She has a calf,” Larry Osborne said. “She can only show for three years but she’ll be a breeder for the rest of her life.”
Maybe someday, she will have a little one to follow in her hoofsteps.