STOCK SHOW U...Fitting Tips provided to by Stock Show University Professors.

Josh Elder

Tail Head

When Fitting the tail head it is important to use the proper tools and products. I prefer to start with Sullivanís tail adhesive as a product and the Hair wizard as a tool. Lightly spray the tail adhesive and comb through after every two sprays until all the hair is standing up, or until u have the desired look. Next you want to coat the tail head with Sullivanís white touch up, which will help build the hair, as well as giving you more of a visual aid when it is time to clip. When clipping out the tail head you want to level out any guard hairs and round out the tip of the tail Head. This will give the appearance that you calf is correct out of their hip.



Jeff Sargeant

Sullivan's Revive

One of the key ways we use Sullivans Revive is on show day.  After breaking down with Hocus Pocus then washing and blow drying our cattle out,  we put a good coat of the new and improved Revive with Vita Hair all over.  Especially on the glued areas to allow the skin and hair conditioner to do its job.  This will really help on back to back show days


Brad Cox

Tip for the Southern States!

One thing that people need to do to cattle in the spring is get rid of dead hair. That way the new fresh hair will come in. Depending on breed & when you plan on showing next matters when deciding whether to slick shear your cattle. Getting rid of the dead hair will make your animal feel better and look fresher. Living in the southern us we need any edge we can get for hair. There is several ways we can do this. I like to use a Sullivan New shedding comb. If I'm planning on going to summer shows you can use the shedding comb & go down. And clip your animal like you would for a show and leave belly & legs while blending the top & belly using my Sullivan x-blocks. This takes some time to do this in order to get the hair smooth. You should allow around 6 weeks for the lines to grow out as this method will look a little rough where the plucking blades were used. 

Another way to get rid of dead hair is to use the show me brush which is a favorite of mine. When you do this it's good to clip your animal like you would for a show and do this as long as it takes or until you get the dead hair out. A good trick that also works well is to spray some prime time or even tail adhesive over the body & use your regular Sullivan blade scotch comb to pull out the dead hair. After youíre done combing the hair out use Hocus Pocus or unfit to break adhesive down & wash out with Sullivan clear choice shampoo. 

Just remember every situation is different depending how much hair your animal has & where you plan showing.


Halter Breaking 101

Tony Austin, Austin Cattle Co. Ė Weatherford TX

Halter breaking your next years show project can be made easier and more effective by following the correct steps in earning the trust of your new calf. This is a 5 day step by step process that has been very successful for us.

Transportation and delivery
Some of the best gentle natured calves can become traumatized by being hauled in a stock trailer for the first time by themselves. This bad experience can set you back several days in the gentling/breaking process. Always try to take a seasoned or experienced show animal to ride back on the trailer when you go to pick up your new project. This will help reduce the stress level on the ďnew guyĒ which may have never been hauled previously. Itís also a good idea to give the calf a pen mate until he is adjusted to his or her new surroundings.

Dayís one thru three
Go in the pen and let the calf become used to being confined with your presence. His first instinct may be to run around the perimeter sniffing and snorting, looking for an escape route. Just be slow and calm and talk to the calf. Once he has settled and realizes he isnít in danger bring a blower to the outside of the pen and run the hose beneath the fence. This will safeguard the calf from damaging the blower or injuring himself. Use the blower to blow on the calfís legs, belly and entire body. This will get him familiar with the feel of being touched and get him used to the blower dryer. Do this for the first three days before introducing the halter.

Haltering the calf
Once you have established the trust of your new calf its time to put the halter on for the first time. I recommend using a rope halter with a slip ring and I have my halters custom made with an additional two feet of lead. This will allow us to wrap around the panel or fence and slide back on the end of the lead and get behind the calf pushing him forward toward the tie rail. Until the calf is familiar with being caught you can use a show stick to fish the halter around the nose and then the ears. 

Breaking to tie
The first time we tie or project we need to tie at a neck or nose level height. Do not tie him in an elevated position yet. I also like to leave 18í to 24í of slack from the tie rail so the calf can stop pulling back and get relief on his jaw and chin. The slip ring will give slack under the chin and provide more comfort when he stops pulling back. Do not leave you calf unattended on the first day of tying. As the calf earns respect of the halter gradually tie his head higher toward a show position. Use a show stick to rub and scratch all over the calf as a continued trust relationship will develop.

Some of these simple steps can be helpful in making the halter breaking experience less stressful for you and your new calf as well as preventing injury to either of you.



"When fitting a leg there is one product line that stands out. Sullivanís Primetime and Tail Adhesive. They dry completely and leave the hair crisp so it clips off with ease. Sullivan adhesives perform in all types of weather - winter, spring summer or fall. These products will not wilt or fall down in the humidity. We proceed with the Sullivanís Ultra White Touchup as a leg builder and use Black Finisher as our final cover-up.  Their level of performance and real hair-like appearance is unmatched. And Sullivan touch-ups will not melt your adhesive."

Todd Caldwell
Caldwell Show Cattle


If you want the desired look of a well clipped an fitted show animal, remember that it takes commitment and persistence of your daily hair care efforts over time.  Success doesn't just happen.  It is all of the brushing, rinsing, blowing, clipping and showmanship practice for several months prior to show day that adds up to big dividends. Those that put in the time and effort, almost always end up near the top of the class and in the winner circle.

Rod Geppert
Geppert Show Cattle


"One key that is often overlooked in helping to make show day run smoothly is keeping aerosols at room temperature. This simple tip allows for better product performance and decreases clogging in the aerosol cans. During summer shows put adhesives in a bucket of cool ice water, and in the winter put them in warm water. Do not let the warm water get over 100 degrees Fahrenheit."  


Dave Guyer


Bruce Stertzbach

 Amie Stertzbach

"In the winter when every day rinsing is not possible, we believe that Sullivanís Russí Rag Oil is one of your best, yet underrated products. We mix 1/4 Rag Oil & 3/4 Double Dip for what we call a deep conditioning three-day process. We apply this mix with a fogger and then comb in over the entire body. To be left in two to three days to absorb into the skin. In the summer we spray it on at night and rinse the next morning.  This is one of our all-time favorite products."

Bruce and Amy Sterzbach


Tracey Goretska

"During the cold winter months, cattle hair tends to get dry. Replenish the natural oils by using a mixture of Sullivanís Kleen Sheen and Sullivanís Rag Oil (5 ounces / quart) for daily hair care. You can also use Sullivanís Revive a couple times a week to help keep the hair healthy."



Barry Nowatzke

With the arrival of your calves this fall, here are a few things to remember to help you get off to a good start.  Make sure you have the proper feed ration to start feeding your calf.  Check with the breeder to assure the calf has been properly vaccinated.  Take you time when breaking your calf, don't get in a hurry.  Make sure you have the supplies to get started working and training the hair.  After washing your calf the first time, use a heavy coat of Sullivan's Kleen Sheen. Comb and blow the Sullivan's Kleen Sheen into the hair, then apply a heavy coat of Sulllivan's Final Bloom to the entire body, including the legs.  Continue to blow while applying more Final Bloom to any dry or dandruff areas.  This will help to get the hide in better condition, promote hair growth, and train the hair.


James Sullivan

How do you keep your cattle hydrated at a show?

Keeping you animal hydrated at a show is just like everything else, it starts at home. Before going to any show you should always paste your animal with some electrolytes. (A great example of an electrolyte paste is Sullivanís Electro-Charge Paste). Also, before the show put some Refresh into their feed, this product will help to prevent dehydration. These two products allow for a healthy buildup of electrolytes before your animal gets into any stressful situation. While at the show, mix in the Refresh into the water every time you water your animal. Throughout the day keep letting them have as much water as they want. These couple easy steps will allow your animal to travel well and look their freshest. 


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