Photo by Julie Turner-Crawford

Sache and Cinch Dowling may have different interests and strengths,  but both enjoy showing cattle

FAIR GROVE, MO. – Summers for Sache and Cinch Dowling are filled with cattle shows and countless hours of preparation at their family’s Fair Grove, Mo., cattle operation, CAT Cattle Company. And the teens wouldn’t have it any other way.

“We work with them every day,” Sache explained. “We work with their hair going the right way, getting them looking the right way, getting their condition right, and we spend a lot of time working with them at the house; the shows aren’t even half of it. We spend most of our time in the barn. We make sure they are in good condition and are bred when they are supposed to be, but we enjoy it. It’s something we’ve always done.”

At 16 and 14, respectively, Sache and Cinch began showing when they weren’t much more than tots, and have accumulated multiple awards and championships at jackpot, regional, state and national shows, primarily with Angus and Simmental cattle owned with their parents, Tanner and Cassie Dowling.

CAT Cattle Company has a registered herd of 30 females, as well and cattle in partnership with Tanner’s family in Kansas and other breeders. The Dowlings have a very selective breeding program, utilizing AI and embryos from show females to produce top-quality show animals. CAT Cattle Company currently has six donor females, seven females bred via AI, and the herd balance is utilized as recips. The farm has an on-site VIF center and performs aspirations monthly.

“We have tons of good eggs from different bulls,” Sache said. “We can test out to see what works the best.”

Sache recently attended the National Junior Angus Association’s LEAD (Leaders Engaged in Angus Development) Conference in California. There, she got hands-on experience with AI and preg checking. She would like to become proficient in those skills. The younger Dowlings said dad Tanner is more inclined to make most of the breeding decisions, but they do like seeing the results.

“I’m all about what comes after,” Sache said. “I want to know if it’s a number bull or a show bull. There are hair differences; there’s condition differences. Dad knows what he’s doing.”

Cinch owns a donor female that has been very lucrative for the operation, and he hopes that the percentage Simmental will be the foundation for the future.

“She’s produced some really good calves, and eventually, I think she will have that great one,” he said.

Working with cattle is a family affair, and Sache and Cinch enjoy life on the farm and in the cattle industry.

“Cattle are like dogs,” Sache said. “You can have a good relationship with them, and they will follow you around; sometimes, they don’t go where you want them to go. They are more like humans than people realize. They are just great animals.”

“I just like them,” Cinch said. “I like spending time at fairs, meeting everybody, showing and building relationships in the ag community. I love show people and  that cattle lets us interact with them and we get to travel and show.”

In addition to showing, Sache and Cinch compete in various cattle-related state and national events and contests with the junior Angus and Simmental associations. Cinch is also involved in the junior Charolais association.

“I like how every contest has different skills you can learn,” Cinch said. “You can do sales talks to teach you how to be a salesman or extemporaneous speaking to teach you how to talk to people.”

“I enjoy the barn life,” Sache said. “I’m different from my brother in that. I would rather work on the cattle, and the contests aren’t my thing, but this year I did enjoy doing them.”

Because the siblings are very competitive in the ring, those competitive tendencies carry over.

“Kansas might have beaten us in extemporaneous speaking, but we destroyed them in the show ring,” Sache said.

In the ring, Sache is an intense showman. She likes competing in showmanship classes because it’s all about her and her presentation of that animal.

“If we don’t win, it’s my fault,” Sache said. “When I was 9, we went to Kansas Classic. It’s a bigger show, and it’s always competitive; there’s always a lot of good kids in Kansas. I was just barely in the intermediate class, but I won. Then I was the youngest in the ring and got fifth overall. I always remember that because the other kids were like 17. It was really fun because these kids are so much older, and I got fifth; that’s a big accomplishment for me.” 

Cinch has garnered showmanship wins as well and is now in the same age division as his older sister. Cinch beat Sache for the first time in showmanship at the 2023 Ozark Empire Fair.

“It was the only show with a buckle,” Sache said as Cinch smiled and tapped his new trophy buckle. “It’s a big division, and all of our friends are in it, so the competition is fierce. I feel I’m a better showman than my younger brother, but we are different in how we show. He’s a good showman, and the right judge was there. Cinch is very straight and stiff, just perfect.”

Sache and Cinch have also shown steers in Kansas, at junior national shows, and locally at the Ozark Empire Fair Gala. Sache said there are some “loose plans” to adding show steers to CAT Cattle Company.

“That’s what Dad grew up with, and I’m not opposed to it,” Sache said. “Also, I want to show a pig.”

Showing is a big part of the operation, but if it weren’t, Sache said she would still be involved in the cattle industry.

“I just love cattle,” she said. “I’ve grown up around them. Even when I was too young to show, I would go to my grandpa’s place in Kansas, and I thought it was so cool. They have so many more head and more land and space. There’s one weekend when they AI, and it is my favorite weekend. I got to hang out with my grandparents; all my uncles were there, and it was just too much fun. It’s a family activity we do, and I’m so excited to be a part of it. I would still love it if we didn’t show cattle.”

The youngest member also enjoys the cattle, just in a different way.

“I love the cattle industry as much as (Sache) does,” Cinch said. “She likes the barn and going out and working with the cattle more than I do. When we do the AI center, she’s the one who goes out and works with the cattle, but I get everything organized.”

“She’s the animal person; he’s the competition/project person,” mom Cassi said. “He likes the process of competition; she likes the process of animal care. It all works, just different motivations between the two. Cinch’s cattle are very dialed in.”

Show season may be slowing down for the Dowlings, but plenty of work remains to be done with the cattle to keep them in show-quality condition. Sache is also taking on more than a dozen heifers from her grandfather’s 600-head herd in Kansas.

“They are whatever my grandpa thinks needs broke,” Sache explained. “I really enjoy breaking calves and I’m getting my biggest batch ever. A lot of these will be out of our donor cows and out of Cinch’s good cow; this year it will all be percentage Simmental, Simmental and Angus. I’m an Angus person, but we’ve gotten to the point where we don’t have to show everyone, but they are still show-quality animals for another kid.”

While Sache is working with the new calves, Cinch will likely take over the care of her heifer. Sache said her brother’s attention to detail and being task-oriented helps her keep her animals on track while working on other projects.

“She will be perfect all the time,” Sache said. “It’s good to have him be able to do that while I work with the wilder animals.”

In addition to showing cattle, Sache is active in the Fair Grove FFA Chapter. Cinch is an eighth grader at Fair Grove. Both have also been active in the Southern Polk County (SOPCO) 4-H.

The siblings aren’t sure of their future careers, but they want to remain involved in the cattle business.

“I will always have cattle,” Sache said adding she isn’t opposed to moving to Kansas. “I just enjoy working with them and being around them. I also love Kansas, but Missouri will always be home.”

“I’m leaning towards something in business, but I will always help my sister with her cattle and whatever she’s doing,” Cinch said.


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