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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Showing goats

This week is the Big Butler Fair!  We entered some of our goats in the Fair and Erik and the kids showed them this past Monday.

It was a HOT HOT HOT day.  Unbearably hot.  The kind of hot where you wake up in the morning and say to yourself, "Who moved our house onto the surface of the sun while we were sleeping?"  Miserably hot and humid at 7 am and it just continued to get more hot and humid as the day progressed.  The show didn't start until 12:30 pm which meant that the kids & Erik had to go to the fair wearing one outfit and had to get dressed in their show clothes (white shirt, black pants & boots) at the fair.  I stayed up late the previous night (July 4) creating and ironing on decals displaying our farm logo so I didn't get up and leave as early as Erik did the morning of the show.  I'm glad because it was torture walking from the car to the goat barn and then sitting in the dairy cow barn watching the goat show.  Imagine a huge steel barn, a few hundred dairy cattle, stifling heat, and all of us holding onto a goat (or two).  I can't remember being so hot!

So, to sum it up, in case you haven't figured it out yet, it was hot.

The children did a great job showing their goats.  I took some pictures to document the event, and unfortunately, they didn't all turn out so great.  The "show ring" was in the center of the dairy barn, which was also in the center of the barn where people walked through to see the dairy cows.  This created a lot of motion and caused my camera to not focus too well.  I was shooting on Auto mode because I knew there would be times when I wouldn't be behind the lens, so I wanted to be able to get everything.  I also was running late that morning and forgot to switch lenses which also affected my photos.  Anyway, the pictures still tell a great story so here it is:

This is the pee wee showmanship class.  The lady on the left is the judge.  She's talking to each child, asking them the name and age of their goat, the breed of the goat and a few other general questions.  The point of this class is to get young children used to showing an animal, listening to the judge and answering questions with ease.  Notice my Maggie May in the center, hand on her hip.  Her goat is not lined up as it should be and she doesn't care.  Walker is earnestly trying to keep his goat "set up" (keeping the legs positioned in such a way as to show off the goats muscle & bone structure) and is very eager to please the judge.

Maggie continues to wait for the judge to get to her.  

Here's the entire class lined up allowing the judge to examine the front ends of the goats.  Walker is showing Carmella Cream.  Carmella has two babies that she is desperate to nurse.  We had to milk Carmella last night and not allow her babies to have access to her because the judge needed to see her bag and udder structure on the day of the show.  I desperately felt Carmella's pain of not being able to feed her babies for over 12 hours.  She called out to her babies and they returned the call, which created some difficulty for Maggie & Will who were showing the babies.

Here is the judge examining Will's little goat, Veronica.  He man-handled her something fierce.  Veronica is only 4 weeks old and all she wanted to do is get to her mom and nurse.

Maggie & Will are having some trouble keeping their baby goats in line because they can hear their mother a few feet away and all they want to do is eat.

Now the children have to lead their goats in a short walk in a circle around the ring.  They do this to demonstrate how the goat stands on her feet.  They also do it to show that they work with their animals and have control over them.  Walker did a very good job of leading Carmella, but Maggie and Will had no such luck.  Their goats were jumping and bucking and a little out of control.  

This is Will's attempt to get his goat, Veronica, set up and under control.  He is such a bull he just uses brute force to get things to do what he wants.  He was determined to get Veronica to stand if it killed him!

The judge was very sweet and gave all of the pee-wee competitors a blue ribbon.  She said they all did a great job of knowing their goats name, breed and age.  All of the children were so excited to get a blue ribbon.

Will shows off his ribbon.

"Look Momma!  I got a bwue one!"

Maggie is now showing in a new class.  

She takes second place.

And Reserve Grand Champion.

And Will eats some lunch.

Maggie sets up her goat.  She's showing Veronica this time.

Maggie gets her ribbons from the Fair Queen.

And Maggie showing off her ribbons.

This is Walker showing Carmella Cream.  He is the only competitor in this class so he wins first place and the Grand Champion ribbons.

Here's a photo of a boy who is so excited he just won two awesome ribbons and doesn't have any clue that he won basically because there were no other competitors in his class.  As he would say, "SWEET!" (insert fist pump here)

Here is Walker showing one of our Boer goats - the goats we primarily intend to show at future events.  To be entirely truthful, we only entered Carmella and her babies because we (Erik) thought you got admission passes based on how many animals you had entered in the shows. We entered five goats so he assumed we'd get five passes.  Unfortunately, it's based on WHO registers them and since Erik registered all of our entries in his name, we only got one pass.  Ooops.

Anyway, Walker showed Miss Hulk up against a 21 year old girl.  He did a pretty great job winning the class.

We were very proud of him.  

The part of the story you won't see illustrated is that after the next class, Erik and Walker had to take one of the goats back to the pens because she was feeling sick.  While he was doing that, they called for Miss Hulk to be shown again for the best in show competition.  Maggie and Will were not strong enough to handle Miss Hulk, so guess who was left showing a goat?  ME!  I had no idea what I was doing or if I even showed Miss Hulk off to her best potential, but I was in that ring showing her off.  I did not win a ribbon.

The children all felt sorry for me so they said they would share their ribbons with me.

I've got such nice children.

Now we're gearing up for the Butler Farm Show in August.

Unless it's as miserably hot as it has been during Fair week.  Then I'm defecting.