Rookies, veterans alike see success at Weld County Fair goat show
Thursday’s fair schedule
» 8 a.m.: Dairy Cattle Showmanship and Show; North Oval
» 9 a.m.: Market and Breeding Sheep Show; Event Center
» 1 p.m.: Dairy heifer sale; Oval
» 6 p.m. Blow-n-go beef showmanship; North Oval
Wearing a bright pink button-down top and a hot-pink ribbon in her hair to match, Kashley Hayden led her goat out of the show arena Wednesday. The brilliant color went well with her newly awarded purple grand champion ribbon.
It was the 11-year-old’s first year showing her own goat at the fair, but the work she put into it gave her the prize.
“I’m so happy,” Kashley said as her eyes welled with joy.
A tear didn’t fall, but the glee the Johnstown girl felt after a first grand champion in the market lightweight division at the Weld County Fair goat show was obvious.
The goats started the market shows for the fair, and the day brought mostly smiles, and only a few tears at the fair, which runs through the weekend at the Island Grove Event Center, 501 14th Ave. in Greeley.
Kashley was one of the few to take a top finish as a rookie 4-Her. Many have to wait until at least their second year to win a grand champion, but Kashley did have some practice before this season.
“I showed my cousin’s last year, and I really liked it,” she said. “So I decided I wanted to do it, too.”
Jordan Halley of Kersey was another rookie to see success Wednesday. She celebrated her 9th birthday with a blue ribbon in her lightweight goat class. She was excited, until a moment of realization.
“I might have to sell my goat,” she said with a slight frown.
But she knows that’s why she competes at the fair. It’s her first time competing in 4-H, so it was an extra-special birthday gift when she got to compete for grand champion in her first division.
Before Jordan went to show, she said she was a bit nervous. She was going up against a friend she met last year, Karsyn Fetzer. Karsyn, 9, of Kersey showed for the second time in 4-H, and already had a grand champion from the breeding goat show earlier Wednesday.
Karsyn said she didn’t do well with her goat last year, but she sold a lamb. So when her breeding goat, Shilo, was the Junior Goat Female Breeding grand champion, she knew exactly what she did right.
“I didn’t work (with the goat) as much last year,” she said. “Now I know a lot and knew what to work on, and I worked a lot harder this year.”
And experience can pay off, especially when you have showed goats for about nine years.
Jayden Gettman, 14, of Kersey started working with animals when she was about 5 years old. She said she felt great after she showed her breeding goat. But she might not have been showing goats at all if it weren’t for her grandma.
“She came home with two dairy goats, and I really liked them,” Jayden said.
Jayden said she’s proud of what she’s accomplished when she showed this year and in the past. But for others, this year was one of redemption.
Like Karsyn, Rylee Anderson, 9, of Ault said she needed to improve from her showing from last year. This was Rylee’s second year. She placed fourth in her market goat class last year. The middle-of-the-pack finish turned into a overall grand champion win with her middleweight goat.
Her key to success — like for Karsyn — was to work more with her goats. Rather than spending more time in the barn, Rylee said she went to a lot more jackpot shows throughout the summer to get her goat, Caramel, fair ready. It also helped her build her showmanship skills.
The second-year veterans felt better about their preparation because they knew how to improve from last year. But Jordan — the rookie — was confident even before the show started.
“I’m really good with goats, and it would be fun to win grand champion for my birthday,” she said.
Even though that wasn’t the case, other grand champion winners know the first year is hard.
It’s the second year that helps a ribbon turn purple.
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