Henry Chapman and Honey Bee – From Troublesome Calf to Champion Friend

The “tag along little brother”

Nine year old Henry Chapman, of Afton, TX, was interested in cattle from a very small age. “I would go to the stock shows with my uncle when I was really little and I always wanted to be in the ring with the cows. As soon as I was old enough I had a bottle calf named Wednesday.” His brother also showed, and Henry was always in the barn helping and watching. This year, however, he finally got to show his own animal. “I had so much fun! I wasn’t just a tag along little brother anymore.”

Although he had a lot of experience watching from the sidelines, Henry found the real thing to be more than he expected. “I learned that having your own animals was a lot of work.” However, all that work didn’t dim the fun he had along the way. “I really liked helping to take care of them and getting to show in the big rings that I have been watching for so long.”

Honey Bee

Of course, behind every successful showman is a great animal. For Henry, that animal was Honey Bee. “My family raises Charolais cattle so naturally I love the white cows.” Henry explains “I wanted  a heifer so that along with my bottle calf I can start my own herd. I picked out Honey Bee with my uncle from a good friends daughter  who is also a breeder. My uncle said I needed to get outside genetics to start my herd not just what was on our farm.”

A great looking cow, however, still has her own mind. Henry found halter breaking to be a big challenge with Honey Bee. “Bee drug me around a lot first!” he exclaims. “But I loved all of it. When she finally let me halter her and walk her without a fight, I was so proud. She lets me sit with her and brush on her. She loves the attention, now.”

Getting Honey Bee to gentle was a long process, and Henry had a lot of support. “I followed my uncle’s advice on how to take care of her.” He says, “My uncle is the one who helps me the most. He knows a lot about cows and he showed when he was a kid. My grandparents help if I’m sick or out of town. My mom showed sheep so she helps out, too. My dad didn’t show, so he’s learning just like me. He watches all my shows.”

The Chapman family has a strong program for getting a show animal ready to win. “When we first got her home we just put her in the barn under fans during the day. On weekends and after school I would go out and just sit with her so she got to know me.” Henry says, “At first grown-ups haltered her and tied her up for me and then I would brush on her so she wasn’t scared. Then I haltered her every day and started walking her in the round pen and walking her to the wash rack. Even in the winter she gets walked every day, unless it is snowing or raining.”

This steadfast consistency to training has served Henry and Honey Bee well, and that’s why they appreciate the consistency of Hi-Pro Show Feeds to support their training program. “Honey Bee eats it ALL and she likes it. I tasted it too and it tastes pretty good!” he says, laughing. “When I go to the feed store with my grandmother or uncle they always say ‘You want your usual? A pallet of Hi-Pro?’”


“I was nervous at my first show” Henry says, “I really hoped Bee would behave!” Through luck and fortitude, Bee did behave and now Henry says he can relax and just have fun when he shows. And the consistent training program never stops. “We get to the barns every day by 4 am to walk and rinse. My uncle likes to be there before everyone else and it gets too crowded.” Once the work is done, Henry still finds time for fun, after a quick nap on a bed of feed sacks he is off to find all the friends he’s made at shows and jackpots.

All the hard work and time with Honey Bee paid off at the Dickens County Livestock Show where Henry and Honey Bee won Grand Champion Beef Heifer. “I gave Bee a big hug and I got a high five from everyone!” Henry exclaims “I can’t wait to take her to Charolais State and National Show this summer!”

Here at Hi-Pro Feeds, we take great pride in the young future ag leaders and their accomplishments. We wish Henry good luck and are excited to see how he grows as a showman.

For more information on our Show Feeds, click here.