Great State: Oklahoma Girl Undaunted by the Physical Challenges of Showing Her Animals

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA — Market Wether, Hampshire, Shropshire, and Suffolk.

Shelby Frost brought four sheep to the 2014 Oklahoma Youth Expo.

It’s her third year to come from her home in Mulhall.

When it comes to showing sheep she knows what to do even if she does need a little help.

Describing issues that can arise for any show competitor, Shelby says, “Sometimes is can be getting them ready. Sometimes it can be showing them.”

Her aunt and mother raised sheep for shows when they were kids.

Shelby thought she’d like to give it a try despite the obstacles fo being born without both legs, her right arm, and part of her left arm as well.

She says family and friends help.

“They have to clip their wool and wash them. I can’t get my wheel chair wet. I can’t hold a clipper either.”

But the rest is all her.

Shelby raised her sheep from newborn lambs.

In the beginning she trained for shows by tying the young animals to her wheelchair with a rope.

A neighbor in Mulhall welded a special bracket to her motorized chair which made things a lot easier.

“I like showing them,” she says, “because then I can actually be a part of it.”

Her first show was a little scary.

Frost saw all those people looking from the fairgrounds arena.

Then she figured out it was the sheep fans and judges were really looking at.

She was just another kid showing an animal, and that’s all she really wanted anyway.

“Just me and the sheep,” laughs Shelby.

She’s 12 this year.

Her lambs and yearlings don’t finish at the top of the standings, but anyone here will tell you the Oklahoma Youth Expo is about more than just colored ribbons.

For the 7,000 exhibitors there are hundreds of early mornings, hours of work, and long roads to raising any animal.

Shelby Frost’s road to the O.Y.E. was a little bumpier than most, but she’s here just like anyone else.

Her advice, “Anybody can do what they want to do as long as they try.”