Tyler Hosts Smith County Junior Livestock Show - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/02/04-Smith County

Tyler Hosts Smith County Junior Livestock Show

The 28th Annual Smith County Junior Livestock Show has kicked off in Tyler.

Over the next few days hundreds of youths from all over Smith County will show off their animals. For most the show is a chance to put months of hard work on display, but for one participant it's a chance to prove she's just like everyone else.

11 year-old Olivia Lavoy said she was a bit apprehensive about this year's junior livestock show.

"This is my first one," she said "I'm kind of nervous."

But the competition was nothing compared to the challenges she faces everyday. Olivia has a type of muscular disorder called Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Those around her said the disorder affects the young girl's body, but not her spirit.

"Olivia has always been a go getter," 4H Sponsor Lana Slover said. "She's always been one of those people that see others do it she thinks she can do it."

Olvia does do it. Struggling to walk she does need help inside the ring. Mom said that just about the only place you'll find her asking for that.

"She's so strong," Amanda Lavoy said. "She gets out and walks this animal and when she complains of being tired she doesn't stop she just keeps going, where you or I would just sit down, but she doesn't she just keeps going."

The hard work paid off. Olivia and her lamb "Aggie" took home the blue ribbon. Olivia already has her sights set on something bigger.

"Once I get older I may think about doing a heffer or a steer," she said.

No goal too big for one special little girl. By placing first in her class, Olivia has been given the chance to auction off her lamb. That auction takes place Saturday out at the East Texas State Fairgrounds in Tyler.

There are other events taking place there also. The action gets started bright and early at 7:30 a.m..

Chris Gibson, reporting

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