Showing about family, friends
This last weekend, I had the opportunity to attend another goat show, the Tri-County Goat Show, which was held at the Boulder County Fairgrounds in Longmont, Colo.
This was my third time attending this show, and the more shows that I attend, the more people I get to know.
Each show is more fun for me than the last, due mainly to this fact; I love meeting new people, and listening to their stories about how they got started raising goats, and how they got to where they are now. I know what I need to do before each show, and I know that all over the state there were other goat people that were doing the same thing.
In preparation for the show, all of the goats that I was taking had to be entered in advance, cleaned, clipped, feet trimmed and checked for overall health. This is important for several reasons, but mostly to make sure the goats are healthy enough to compete, and not spread disease to other goats.
Once I got to the show, it was time to set up and unload everyone. All over the ground were families doing the same thing. Those who did not, their family there helped, and at the end of the night, everyone was checked in and settled in.
First thing in the morning of both days of the show, youth competed in showmanship, where they show off their skills to the judges. One of the best parts about youth organizations is that they have pee-wee showmanship, where very young kids can compete. Since students can’t join 4-H until they are 8-years-old, this is a great way for them to get involved with showing livestock early.
There are many kids there who may not have their own goats, and they borrow goats from family members or friends to compete. I love watching the youth exhibit the passion that they do for their livestock, and watching them take the time to prep and exhibit their animals. Once showmanship is over, the show moves to the senior doe show, which is for does that are in milk. Many breeders will have several animals in a single class — and this is where the camaraderie can really be seen.
Since you can only show a single animal at a time, if you have several animals in a class, you will need help. Many times this is where youth will help, but it extends farther than that. Friends, family and total strangers will step in as well. I have been to many shows where people will show another animal for someone they barely know. It’s the willingness to help one another that really makes me love showing animals.
I had several instances where I needed help, including during the double ring buck show, when I had two different bucks showing in two different rings at the same time. A friend of mine was happy to help show my Nubian buck, and when he made it to the championship drive, another friend quickly jumped in and showed him since I was still showing my Nigerian Dwarf buck.
It’s great having friends and family who can help you, especially when you show multiple animals.
Overall the show was great for me, and my goats did really well. Cleopatra was first in class both days, Teagon was second in class both days, Nala was first in class both days. Jasmine was ninth in class the first day, and fifth in class the second day.
For the bucks, Abu was second in class in one show and third in class in the other, and Simba was second in class in both shows.
Back home at the farm, we had our last set of dairy goats that were born. My Nigerian Dwarf doe, who is the mother of Jasmine and Abu, gave me two little gorgeous blue-eyed bucklings.
I knew when she was going into labor when my LaMancha, Texas Tornado, gave the alarm. She started making much more noise than normal, and when I went out to check what was wrong, there was a newborn baby. Of all the kids that I have had, Nigerian Dwarf babies are probably the cutest. They are so tiny, and yet so cute, that you can’t help but to love them. ❖
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From June through September, John Etchart spends most of the day driving a tractor through hayfields below the mountains near Meeker in northwestern Colorado.