Robyn Scherer: From the Edge of the Ring 5-6-13
Spring can mean different things to different people. To me, it’s not only the time for new growth, but for the beginning of the show season. I look forward to it each year, and now that it’s begun, I couldn’t be more thrilled.
The first show of the season is always the Weld County Goat Extravaganza, which is held at Island Grove Park in Greeley, Colo., the end of April. This year was my biggest show to date, as I showed 12 goats: six dairy goats and six Boer goats.
The weeks leading up to the show are traditionally when I clean and clip everything, but with the bipolar weather that we have had this spring, that was not an option. I had to wait until I got to the show to fit everyone, and that takes some time.
I got up early on Saturday morning, loaded everyone up, and made the two hour trek to Greeley. Once I arrived at the show, I checked in and got everything set up, and then it was time to bring everyone in. Luckily, I was not on my own for this show.
Several friends came up to help me, which I’m incredibly grateful for. There is no way I would have been able to get everything done without their help.
It took four of us to get everyone unloaded and situated. In addition to the goats that I brought, I was picking up two goats at the show as well. The first was a Nubian doeling named Teagon, who I purchased from Mega-Milkers in Wyoming. I was extremely excited to finally be able to meet her.
The second was a fullblood Boer buckling, who I purchased from Madessa’s Menagerie in Fort Collins, Colo. I am finally to the point where I want my own buck, and was able to make that happen this spring.
That made my total numbers in Greeley at 14, which is quite a few to handle. After we got everyone settled, it was time to go to work on washing and fitting everyone.
The first step was to take the goats, one-by-one, out to the wash racks. They were all covered in dirt from the mud we have had this spring, and it takes some time to turn the brown goats back to white. Once that finally occurs, then it’s time to blow dry them.
Yes, you read that correctly. In the show Boer goat world, like the show cattle world, animals are dried using a portable blower dryer, usually referred to as a blower. It’s much more powerful that the ones people use, and can cut the drying time for an animal significantly.
This helps for several reasons. First and foremost, it dries the animal much faster, which helps to keep them from chilling, especially if the water used to wash is cold, which it usually is. It also helps to fluff the hair, which makes it easier to trim and fit. The days of slick shorn breeding Boer goats are long gone.
The four of us worked together to wash and blow out all 12 animals that were to be shown. The results were a herd of clean, shiny goats.
After this, it was time to trim up the goats, including around their feet. Their feet are then trimmed, and the result is a fitted show goat.
I finished this all in the time to grab dinner, and then change in my dairy showing outfit, which is a white shirt and white jeans, for the dairy buck show. The first buck I showed was Champion Livestock Simba, who is a Nubian buck that was born last fall. He finished second in his class, and then was the Reserve Grand Champion junior Nubian buck. At only 6-months-old, he competed very well with the older, bigger bucks.
The next buck I showed was Tall and Small Abu, who is a Nigerian Dwarf that was born at the end of last May. This show is a fuzzy show for dairy goats, meaning they can’t be clipped except for around the tail and down the back legs, and he had several inches of long hair on his back.
Even with this, he was named the Grand Champion junior AOP (all other purebred, since there were not enough Nigerian Dwarfs to show in their own class) buck. I was very proud of him! In the champion buck round, he was competing with much older, larger bucks, so he did not place in the overall group. However, since he’s still under a year, I believe he has a very bright future.
Sunday morning brought the rest of the shows, and more help. At this show the Boer and dairy shows run concurrently, and there were two instances where I had Boer goats and dairy goats to be shown at the same time. I showed the dairy goats, and I had a friend show both of my milking dairy goats.
The rest of the day flew by in a hurry, with a total of 10 goats being show. Five of my six dairy goats placed, with four being shown on Sunday. They placed as follows: NCD Farm Hesed’s Lilly was fourth in class, Champion Livestock Cleopatra was first in class, and Champion Livestock Nala, who is the sister to Simba and the daughter of Lilly, was third in class.
The Boer goats also saw some success. MKHD Tara’s Beanie Baby was third in class, Pleasant Bayou Farm Gerty was second in class, and YAB Cassie was sixth in class. MKHD I’ll Be Your Huckleberry, the Boer buck who I recently purchased, was third in class.
Overall, it was one of the best weekends that I have had in a long time. I got to see several of my friends, and got to spend time doing one the things that I love the very most: showing goats. ❖
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