Fort Worth Stock Show’s Grand Champion Steer smashes record with $440,000 sale

Madeleine Cook/

What does it take to get to this moment?

For fifteen-year-old Sadie Wampler of Canyon, it took working hard every day. It took learning how to manage time between being in the barn, completing school assignments and juggling multiple sports (the teen plays volleyball and basketball, and she runs track).

As she stood at the entrance of an arena at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo’s Sale of Champions looking out into the crowd — a packed room teeming and buzzing like a hive that was full of money to be spent — all she could feel were goosebumps.

And when Sadie finally stepped out onto the green-dyed pine shavings with her black-as-night, 1,343-pound steer named Snoop Dog, she had no idea she would make history.

The teen smashed a stock show record Saturday morning when her Grand Champion Steer sold for a whopping $440,000 to Fort Wort-based insurance and financial broker group Higginbotham & Associates.

The 2022 Grand Champion, a black cross named Steve, sold for $310,000, beating the record set in 2021 by just $10,000.

“Sadie, you’re smiling,” the auctioneer said to the teen once the bidding hit $370,000. “Are you happy?”

All she could do was beam.

Sadie, who represented Randall County 4-H, was one of 1,497 children who showed a steer in the Jr. Steer Show, which rounds out the final week of the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo.

And Snoop Dog’s price tag just happened to be the exact amount Higginbotham & Associates could spend that day, said Rusty Reid, Higginbotham’s CEO.

“These are wonderful people,” Reid said of the stock show and Sadie’s family. “They work so hard to get to this point, a lot of travel, a lot of showing, a lot of work and we’re just really blessed to be part of it.”

Every cent of the cash will go toward Sadie’s college education. She plans on attending Texas A&M and pursuing a degree in animal science.

She’ll probably still be processing her win on her drive home back to the Panhandle, Sadie told reporters, but there’s one more task left — saying goodbye to Snoop Dog, which may prove to be the toughest task of all.

“I spend more time with him than anyone else in my life,” Sadie said. “He’s like my best friend.”