Trey Bates sold his grand champion lamb for $40,000 Saturday at the Sale of Champions at the Fort Worth Stock Show. Brandon Wade Special to the Star-Telegram
Trey Bates sold his grand champion lamb for $40,000 Saturday at the Sale of Champions at the Fort Worth Stock Show. Brandon Wade Special to the Star-Telegram

Fort Worth Stock Show

His lamb wouldn’t pee, which turned into a $40,000 payday at Stock Show

February 04, 2017 12:31 PM

UPDATED February 04, 2017 03:30 PM

FORT WORTH

Trey Bates is $40,000 richer because his lamb got stage fright in the potty.

The lamb — methodically named “Ear Tag 96” and the grand champion at the Fort Worth Stock Show — was sold Saturday at the annual Sale of Champions, where teens are paid well above market value for their prize-winning livestock.

Bates, a student at Leakey High School, said his lamb had been chosen as the grand champion a couple of weeks ago at the Hill Country District Junior Livestock Show in Kerrville. And like all winners, the lamb was required to produce a urine sample for drug testing.

“He was supposed to be sold but it took him too long to pee,” Bates said. “You have to turn in your sale card within 45 minutes to make the sale, and he took an hour-and-a-half to pee and we missed the sale.”

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So it was off to Fort Worth and a much healthier payday, courtesy of Ladies on the Lamb, a group of Fort Worth businesswomen who showed their generosity when purchasing lambs at the Sale of Champions. Besides spending $40,000 on Bates’ 152-pound lamb — that’s roughly $253 per pound — they also paid $35,000 for the reserve grand champion.

... He took an hour and a half to pee and we missed the sale.

Trey Bates, 16, of Leakey High School, on how his lamb would have been sold in Kerrville, not Fort Worth

“I would have gotten about $15,000 at most there [Kerrville], so it worked out great coming to Fort Worth,” Bates said.

The 16-year-old Bates has been raising and showing lambs for 10 years, since “the day my dad brought some home.”

He lives with his family in Leakey, a small Hill Country town about 90 miles miles northwest of San Antonio, and works daily at their farm, about 15 minutes away.

“I’m there every afternoon after school, from about 4 p.m. to 8 or 10 p.m.,” Bates said. “Weekends are longer.”

$25,000More that Trey Bates received because his prize-winning lamb couldn’t produce a urine sample in Kerrville

With Ear Tag 96 no longer in the picture, he still has other livestock to show — 14 lambs and five goats — and will be heading to San Angelo for a show on Sunday.

From San Angelo he’ll travel to shows in San Antonio, Houston and Austin, untold hours of road time — bathroom breaks included.

Lee Williams: 817-390-7840, @leewatson

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brandon@brandonwade.com