It’s no secret that I love the show ring. I love the smell of shavings, preparing goats, the anticipation and the concentration required in the ring. I love to see the number of youth increase, and I love to see all people, young and old, competing with animals they love.
My first show of the season was rushed, and didn’t go as well as I had hoped. However, these shows happen, and all you can do is pick yourself up and move on. I debated for a few weeks on whether I wanted to make the drive to Torrington, Wyo., for the Wyoming Dairy Goat Association Fuzzy Show.
It was 230 miles each direction, would require three days away from home, and I would be by myself. Since I wasn’t sure I’d be able to make the Tri-County Show, I decided to go for it.
I spent the weekend before the show trimming the goats and cleaning out the trailer. A few days before the show, I washed the goats and clipped their feet, and loaded everything that I needed so I could take off after work on Friday.
I got the goats loaded, decided to take my Jack Russell Rodie, and off we went to Wyoming. The drive took longer than I had intended due to traffic, but I finally pulled in and got the goats unloaded and everything set up. I wanted to be able to stay on the grounds, so I took a small airpad, a blanket and a pillow and camped out in the back of my truck with my dog for the weekend.
Saturday morning I was up early, took care of the goats, showered at the fairgrounds and grabbed some breakfast out of the cooler. Saturday was the junior doe show first, followed by the buck show later that night. I would be showing three junior does.
The first doe that I showed was Hope Diamond, the daughter of my Alpine doe Glitter. Diamond can be a little rowdy, and it’s hit or miss on whether she will cooperate or not. In our first show she did not cooperate, and placed in the back half of the class. I was disappointed, but knew we had a second show.
In the second show she excelled and cooperated. She was second in her class, and after the champion junior doe was picked as the first place finisher in her class, she came into the champion drive. She set up perfectly, and the judge picked her as the Reserve Grand Champion junior Alpine doe! This was my first ribbon with an Alpine and I was very happy with her.
The second doe that I showed was Duchess. Duchess is a daughter of my beloved LaMancha Texas Tornado. She almost pure white, and has a sassy little attitude. Even though she is just over two months old, she is an absolute dream to show.
In the first ring, she placed second in her class in a very competitive class.
When it came time for the championship drive, I watched closely from the sidelines, just in case the doe that beat her won, as she would then be in contention for reserve.
That is exactly what happened. I was excited to bring Duchess back in, and after a few comments, the judge picked her as the Reserve Grand Champion Junior LaMancha doe. I was ecstatic.
This was my first ribbon with a LaMancha, and I couldn’t have been more proud. After checking tattoos and paperwork, we moved on to the second ring.
Part of the reason why people show dairy goats is to try to earn a title called a permanent champion on an animal. To get this designation, a doe or buck must earn three championship “legs.” That means they must win three different shows under three different judges. Does may earn one junior leg and two senior (in milk) legs, or three senior legs. Most dairy goat owners will not show their junior does anymore if they earn a junior leg, so that someone else has a chance to earn a junior leg.
This is what happened at this show. The champion from the first show scratched in the second. In the second show, Duchess won her class, and was again in the championship drive. This time the judge picked a yearling doe as the champion, but again selected Duchess as the reserve. She had won her second ribbon! She didn’t earn her junior leg, but I was still incredibly proud of her.
I also showed my junior Nubian named Nala, and she placed in the middle of some very large classes. I can’t wait to see this girl in milk next year.
In between the junior doe show and buck show, Rodie and I headed into town for some snacks and down time. We got back just in time for dinner and to start prepping for the buck show.
The first buck that I showed was Tornado’s buck kid, who I call Duke. Duke won his class in both shows and was the Grand Champion Junior LaMancha buck. However, it’s hard for young bucks to compete with older ones, and that’s as far as he got.
The second buck I showed was a yearling Nubian buck named Captain. Captain placed in the middle of his classes.
My last three bucks to show were all Nigerian Dwarf bucks. My yearling, DaVinci, was second in his class. My 2-year-old, Abu, won his class in the first ring, as did my three-year-old, Belmont. Abu went on to be the Grand Champion Senior buck and made his way to the championship drive.
In this drive, he was great. After a quick overview, the judge picked him as the Grand Champion AOP (all other purebred) buck and Best of Breed! I’ve never won a breed or Best in Show title before, and it was an incredible feeling.
In the second ring Abu was second in his class and Belmont was first again. This time, Belmont was named the Reserve Grand Champion AOP buck. It’s a great feeling to have two different bucks win.
The last day of the show was for the milkers. I brought two Alpines, Glitter and Latte, as well as Tornado. All three does placed third or fourth in their classes, which I was ok with. They are all young with only one or two freshenings, and I know they are going to get better.
Trying to get out of Torrington was interesting, to say the least. A hail storm hit as I was just about to load my final goats, and the area where I parked flooded with enough water to flood the inside of the back of the trailer. I had to trudge through water that was several feet deep to get to the truck and get it and my trailer out before the water rose even more. It was a little scary, but worked out ok at the end.
Overall, I felt the show was a great success. I had a great time with Rodie, and met people from several different states and had great conversations.
I couldn’t be more proud of my herd, Champion Livestock, and where I am headed, and am looking forward to what is to come. ❖