Goats are neck and neck in showmanship

Goat showmanship was one of several categories for young competitors at the fair.

Photo by Jolene Guzman
Goat showmanship was one of several categories for young competitors at the fair.

RICKREALL — Picking the winner of the intermediate goat showmanship competition at the Polk County Fair came down to little details.

“Thank you for sticking with the long decision to judge. That’s a compliment to you that you are that close in placing,” the competition judge said. “Little things.”


The judge in intermediate goat showmanship compares two goats on Friday.

He said he had to resort to an old trick to separate the grand champion and reserve champion from the field.

“When I go in and handle a goat, how many of you showmen repaired the damage I did to your animals?” he said.

The judge messed up the fur on the goats and even picked up dirt from the ring floor and put it on the them. The young showmen — ages 12 to 14 — who cleaned up their animal received a few more points in the judge’s estimation.

“Your judge got to use an old trick because that’s how close you were,” he said.

Another determining factor was knowing all the parts on the goat by name.

Grand Champion Grace McBride and reserve champion Rebecca Stevens did well in both areas.

Grace took her 3-year old Nigerian drawf goat Valentine in the ring for the competition. This is Grace’s fifth year showing goats.

“It feels nice,” Grace said of her victory. “I never really know what to expect. Everybody here is really good.”

Reserve Champion Rebecca said she wasn’t expecting to earn champion status because she didn’t feel her goat, Violet, was properly groomed for the competition. A fifth-year showman, she was happy with being the runner up.

“It was kind of scary because you are trying to remember all the things you need to remember,” she said of how she felt in the ring. “But it’s fun, too.”

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