Friday, August 28, 2009

County Fair was FUN!

We just finished up a week at showing the Shetlands in their first ever class at Lane County Fair. McMeadow Shetlands and McTavish joined Shady Oaks in the festive occasion and we had a great time!

The Fair was excited to have a group of sheep people who would interact with the public. They provided four pens for us to set up displays, have all our 'stuff' and room to spin too. Hopefully somebody managed to get a picture as it was a really nice display. ( I HAVE to learn to get the camera out of the bag-it doesn't take pictures by itself!)
The Judge was excellent although she didn't have a great awareness of the breed description to work from. I will be getting her name from the sheep superintendent so I can find out if she would like to become a certified Shetland judge.
Lots of 'closet' Shetland breeders came by to chat so we will probably have a lot more in the ring next year. It would be great to have more participation now that we have 'tested the waters'.
In the past I have participated in State Fair rather than the County level. When State raised their entry fees to $10.00 a head and camping to 17 a night I had to rethink the arrangement.

Normally I took 20 to 24 head to State-that is a chunk of money at the new rates and the premiums sure didn't go up. The week long venue required the use of vacation time from work and paying for camping (actually it is dirt rental to put your truck on!) I hope that there will be enough breeders that live close enough to State Fair to continue the Shetland Show there. Many people worked very hard to get the Shetland classes established years ago. For the past few years only two breeders have shown up-that is not enough to maintain the premiums or the separate class for Shetlands.
OK I'm off the soapbox on that one!

For the first time ever Elfin Acres Nigerian Dwarf Goats made an appearance in the show ring with great success. (OK-so we showed in All other Purebreds and there were only 5 other goaties in the ring with us....) Regardless of the numbers the judge had many good things to say about our girlies so we feel really good about continuing with this venture. George was a masterful showman in his black and whites leading his little goats to various winning venues.

He made a wonderful sign for the goat venture which got rave revues from the local goatmasters. We were both quite surprised at the numbers of ribbons from the Goat Show!   Who would have ever guessed that our Maggie would acquire a "Best Udder" award!  Maggie took it all in stride however, she was happy as long as there were a few extra snacks involved. 

The weather was a little warm the first two days of the fair and after that it was delightful. we have fans for the sheep and goats and just keeping the air moving kept them all comfortable. its a great opportunity to socialize not only the stock but also to get to know fellow breeders in your community and network with the public. If you haven't tried showing your critters give it a try! It's fun and you will learn a LOT.

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