We caught up with judge Preston Lawrence before he steps “Inside the Ring” at the California State Fair. Learn more about Preston below…
What’s been your all time favorite sheep you have judged?
My favorite sheep I have ever judged took a couple steps into the ring and I knew he was the best one I had ever seen. I saw him early on when I judged the Great Western Shootout and I figured big things were in his future. Colt Randall showed “Buddy” and he barnstormed the country a couple years back and ended up being the Grand Champion at OYE.
Who’s your biggest influence in evaluating livestock?
Growing up my parents let me figure out my own path and did not push anything on me. It took me until high school to find livestock judging and when I did I was hooked. I had terrific junior and senior college coaches being Conner Newsom and John DeClerk who were certainly great influences in judging. My biggest influence in evaluating livestock is someone I have spent countless hours with in the last eight plus years. He gave me a job in college and the rest is history. He taught me to let the big things hit you, trust your first impressions, and you can accomplish anything with hard work. I truly owe everything I have been able to judge or be apart of in the livestock world to him and his family.
What do you look for when evaluating?
I like livestock to look completely opposite of me. I want sheep to have an arrogance about them when they hit the ring. Athletic, smooth made sheep that are flexible and have the right type of muscle. I want the ones that are the hardest to make and elite in their build and balance.
If down to the last few, what will be your sort?
I will always hang my hat on the best-built livestock and which one I will remember the longest.
Do you prefer to evaluate when sheep are in motion or stuck on profile?
Tell us about your family!
My wife Molly and I live in Pottsboro, TX where I work for my families cattle and sheep operation. We are quickly approaching our first year of marriage which has consisted of traveling up and down the road doing what we enjoy.
What’s one show you look forward to every year?
The National Western.
In your mind, how has the industry changed in the show ring over the last 10 years?
I believe as a whole, the industry has made it an easier process for beginning families to start their show career. Information is more accessible now than ever before which is huge for families starting out.