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Oklahoma girl adapts wheelchair to sheep show ring

Shelby Frost, 11, raises sheeps and shows them at the Oklahoma Youth Expo.
By Nasreen Iqbal, Staff Writer Modified: March 21, 2014 at 4:00 pm •  Published: March 20, 2014

Shelby Frost believes anything is possible.

Shelby, 11, recently moved to Guthrie from Mulhall. She has curly brown hair, rosy cheeks and a contagious smile. She’s full of optimism and wants to be a writer when she grows up.

Shelby was born without a right arm or leg and only partial limbs on her left side.

Doctors detected the birth defect through an ultrasound before she was born. They told her mother, Stacy Foshee, 33, that Shelby might not be able to sit up when she got older.

“She started scooting on her bottom as soon as I put her down,” Foshee said.

To Foshee’s delight, not only was her daughter able to sit up, she soon learned how to use her abdominal muscles to help her move on her own. She now jumps on her trampoline, hula hoops and shows sheep at county fairs and at the Oklahoma Youth Expo.

Frost was one of 14,000 participants at this year’s expo, where students in grades 3 through 12 showed hogs, goats, sheep and cattle they have raised and trained.

Event organizers aim to teach students life skills while bringing families together. Awards include plaques, ribbons and college scholarships.

For Shelby, showing sheep is a passion and a way of life. She is continuing a tradition her grandmother began on the family farm in Mulhall.

“My mom and aunt and grandma all showed sheep,” Shelby said. “So I do, too.”

It never occurred to Shelby to allow her physical disability to limit her showmanship, or her life.

“We adapt,” Foshee said. “There are still some things that are challenging for her. But, for the most part, she’s pretty independent. There’s not a lot she can’t do.”

Shelby said part of adapting to a life without full limbs included molding eating utensils and grooming necessities, such as a toothbrush, to fit around her left shoulder. To write and draw, she clamps a pencil between her chin and shoulder. She uses what Foshee calls her “abs of steel” to swim.

Every year, Shelby rolls into the Jim Norick Arena at State Fair Park and shows one of her five sheep with grace and poise.

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