Ohio teen wins intermediate grand champion at NWSS goat showmanship competition
For The Fence Post
DENVER — As he got ready to announce the intermediate class winner, judge Adam Lira said he likes to make sure he judges each goat as thoroughly as possible.
He said each of the goat showmanship competitors on Jan. 9 put in a lot of effort to get their goats into top shape for the National Western Stock Show, and he wanted to make sure the winner reflected that.
Paige Pence, 14, of New Carlisle, Ohio, was named the grand champion because, according to Lira, the amount of work and effort Pence put in was reflected in her goat, which was born in March.
Pence said she was proud of the goat she’s worked with since July because he’s powered through, successfully, at the American Royal and the North American Livestock Expo.
“I make sure to connect with my animals,” she said.
That showed, as her goat was steady, with its legs and neck constantly set. She did not need to reset her goat between walks around the show pen.
This year is her third in Denver, she said.
“We heard it was a really nice show,” she said, adding National Western’s belt buckles for prizes, while not unique, always have one of the best designs.
For Trinity Boulger, 13, National Western has been an annual stop for six years. She said past successes bring her back each year from Craig, Colo.
Boulger’s goal this year, as it normally is, was to make the cut. She did, but didn’t place. But that’s not a deterrent for her to return.
“It’s my lifestyle; it’s my sport,” she said.
Boulger’s interest in showing started, practically when she could walk, as she started to show horses when she was 3. Eventually the livestock became a bigger draw. When she bought her first goat, she wasn’t even looking to show them. She simply wanted a baby goat.
A family friend raises dairy and Boer goats, and when Boulger bought a dairy goat, she showed that goat at the state fair and placed. But the goat was not attractive, she said, so she opted for a Boer goat the following year.
She said competing for showmanship is a great way to show off the work she’s done, which could be lost in market competitions alone. It’s for similar reasons Pence enjoys coming to National Western, too.
The judges, as Lira did, take their time to really assess each goat during the showmanship competition. Lira also made time to talk with the exhibitors who didn’t make the cut.
Because of that attention to detail, there really are only two things that can help, or hinder, someone in a showmanship competition.
“It’s just me and the goat,” Boulger said.
— Fox is a reporter for The Fence Post. She can be reached at (970) 392-4410, email@example.com or on Twitter @FoxonaFarm.