San Diego – Eleven-year-old Karlee Hinojosa earned grand-champion with her steer at the Duval County Fair on Saturday.
Hinojosa raised her steer named “Ford” from a calf and was not entirely ready to face the separation that had long been awaiting their relationship.
“It's going to be horrible and sad when I have to sell him,” Hinojosa said. “I know it's what I have to do but I got attached to him.”
Hinojosa with the help of her father has fed, bathed and walked him every day.
"Other than school I've spent the majority of my time with him," she said.
Hinojosa has been in the fair since she was four when she started with the kiddie animals. She has shown pigs, lambs and heifers.
“Ford was stubborn at first but after I started feeding him and working with him he wasn't so bad,” Hinojosa said. “He just needed to get to know me. If you work regularly with your animals they'll work with you.”
"I've learned that being responsible for anything takes hard work," she stated.
Hinojosa was relived to win her buckle, plaque and ribbons for her hard work with Ford.
“Ford has this weird fear of ribbons,” she said. “I'm not sure why he's scared. Every animal has a personality of it's own.”
Hinojosa attends Freer Junior High and has already started to save money for college. The money that Hinojosa received at the auction goes to her college tuition and for next year's animal.