The little boys both showed pygmy goats this year. They had a great time walking them around the goat barn and keeping their water bucket full. There's just something about little boys and water. Both of them did all right in the show ring- considering they were milling around for about 45 minutes while we waited for the judge to come back from her break. Then they lined all the little kids up on the pavement in the sun and had them stand there for a few minutes before letting them enter the show ring. By that time- none of the kids were practicing their best showmanship skills. A good time WAS had by all... and Sam did NOT lie down and play with the grass in the arena this year! Overall, that's an improvement!
Chris showed two market lambs and two ewe lambs. He slick sheared one and a half of his own sheep. TJ, the teen leader for our project, Claudia, and I sheared the others. This was the first time either Chris or I had tried using the slick shearing clippers. They're nice. I think we should budget to purchase our own set next year.
The lambs did fairly well. Chris got blue ribbons on everything. He is the world's slowest pen cleaner. I just have to say, it was painful to watch- so, I'd usually go hang out in the tack stall behind the barn :-) This was the laziest I've ever been at a fair. I did make sure everyone got where they were supposed to be on time, but the kids did their own work. That's the way it's supposed to be, that's the way it was. Nice. That's all I can say :-) NICE. Even the handing off of sheep and putting on of halters as Chris exited the arena and had to go right back in with a different sheep- a kid helped with that (thanks, Katelyn!).
We have some of the nicest families in our 4-H club. It was a joy watching and listening to them as they worked throughout the week. Some of the teens got a little bit grumpy as the days progressed and the lack of sleep was compounded. They were still awesome. I didn't hear a single parent complain about the judging or berate their kiddo for anything that happened in the show arena. We're blessed to be part of such a supportive, positive group of people.
This is the first year Jake's been old enough to show. He was VERY proud to have the opportunity to take Willow the pygmy goat. Willow was born in 2003. Showing him has become a family tradition. Each boy has gotten to take him to the fair the first year they show. The really funny part of that is that Willow is a pain in the butt to show. He also weighs about twice as much as the little boys do. Willow's big goal for the past four fairs has been to visit the expo building- on the other side of the fairgrounds. Whenever he sees it, he takes off running... and Jake can just run along with him or let go... he CAN'T stop him! It's pretty funny. All the people in the area panic and run to catch the wild goat. Little do they know that like any good dog, he'll eventually come back. It does make it challenging to actually show him when the showman only weighs 40 pounds though.
Sam took a yearling doeling of Mom's to show this year. She'd been to a show or two, but hadn't really been handled all that much. When we started working with her (and I use the term work very loosely, pygmy goats didn't really register on my list of important prep work for fair) she would barely walk on a leash. By the time she came home she was a friendly, little thing. She also walked well on her leash and learned to follow the boys and Willow even without a leash. I like her a lot (shh... don't tell anyone. I have a reputation to maintain). She did run across the arena, dragging Sam, but all in all, they did pretty well together.
It was an awesome fair. Even though I didn't take many pictures it is still a fair that I'm sure will live on in our memories. We came. We had fun. It was a success!