What’s cuter than a bunch of baby animals being shown at the fair? Little kids showing baby animals at the fair of course…and that’s exactly what the Lewis County Youth Spring Fair is all about. In 4H kids are not eligible to show until they are in the third grade, but at the Youth Fair anyone under 19 years old can show. In addition to including the younger ages the show offers novice classes so that older showmen who are new to showing get a chance to learn the ropes and compete against others who are new to showing. Shows like these help introduce animal showing to the next generation which is a mission I stand behind 100% which is why for the last two years we have spent 2 hours in the car, which this year was hilarious because our goats out grew their kennels and had to ride to the fair in the back of my Toyota Four Runner (watch the video, it’s pretty funny) and spend all weekend in a budget friendly (read cheap and ghetto) hotel on the first weekend of May.
This year we invited Ross’ little sister Ruby Faye along. Ruby is six years old and is the proud new owner of EB’s kids. Since she now has her own goats we figured it would be the perfect time to introduce her to the world of showing. We took Sade and Dozer with us since Sade hasn’t been to a show yet and we were really excited to see how she did and Dozer because he usually places pretty well for Kate in the Pack Goat class.
On the first day Kate and Ruby competed in the Fit and Show class which judges the showman and not the animal which means you could have a pretty ugly goat with less than stellar genetics and as long as it is clean and you show it well you could come away with first place. One of the keys to being a good showman is being knowledgeable about goats in general so the judge generally asks questions about each showman’s goat and tests their goat knowledge. Having participated in last year’s Youth Fair we were able to give Ruby some pointers and helped Ruby learn the name of her goat, the age of her goat, the breed of her goat and a few body parts of goats. Last year there was a young man who when asked the parts of the goats confidently named the ears, eyes and butt. The judge asked if he knew another name for the butt (correct answer is rump) and said, “no, it’s just called the butt”. He ended up placing last so we made sure Ruby knew the anatomically correct name for the goat booty. It turned out to be a good thing, because once again a young child used butt to name the rump but when Ruby’s turn came she used the correct vocab. word and impressed the judge. Learning the breed of the goat was a little harder since Nigerian Dwarf is a long name. But of course Ruby’s mom helped by explaining the definition of dwarf using Snow White and the seven dwarfs as an example and then we just had to work on getting Ruby to pronounce Nigerian Dwarf rather than Gigerian Dwarf which just took some practice. The last thing we had to work on was Ruby’s show ring presentation and learning how to not block the judges view of the goat when walking around the ring. For the younger kids who are just trying to focus on not letting go of the goat this is a difficult concept. Ruby did a fantastic job and only had to reminded a few times. If you watch the video carefully you will see her do it on her own without reminder. In the end Ruby ended up placing first and got the big fluffy ribbon she wanted. She was very proud of her ribbon, although she told me more than once she would have preferred the pink ribbon (second place) over the blue ribbon (first place). Kate also did well in her class and placed second overall, which was awesome when you consider she was competing in the experienced class for the first time.
Kate and Ruby also competed in the Pack Goat obstacle course. Ruby used a friend’s goat, Ellie, who brought her goat to the fair in hopes of selling her. She is an absolute sweet heart and walked much better than Dozer did so Ruby wanted to use her. They bonded right away and it wasn’t long before Ruby and Ellie were laying in the grass together and Ruby was giving her kisses. At the end of the show Ellie found a new home…at Ruby’s house!
And on the second day Sade got her glory as she placed Grand Champion of the Junior Doelings which made us all very happy and proud. It was a very fun weekend and the weather was beautiful. In between shows we got to hit up the Centralia Antique District where I got some awesome DIY craft ideas I will be sharing soon and Ross got to visit one of his favorite breweries The Olympic Club. The videos of Ruby’s first shows are below as well as Ruby’s debut as a video blogger!