We may be a relatively new goat place in Nova Scotia, but we certainly know how important it is to be noticed and to get yourself known. Back in August of 2012, Sam Smith (Summer Young’s owner) decided she would try to show goats. So, she found a local show and entered her first doe, Rocky Mount Loot Spirit.
Let’s face it; Sam really didn’t know much about showing goats. She had only ever shown horses, so she figured it had to be similar to that. Sam had watched the 2011 goat show at the provincial exhibition in Truro the year before, but had only learned that the goats had to stand so that the front feet were together and the back feet were slightly spread apart. This was not a lot of information, so she then took to YouTube, where most was told. After watching about two hours worth of videos, Sam was a little more confident in herself.
Spirit had never been shown before, either. She was a little on the wild side, to be quite honest. She disliked her hooves being touched, her back legs being touched, and what she hated most of all was when somebody would decide to walk over, pick up a hind leg and feel her teats. If you had done that, you were just asking for trouble. Sam learned the hard way that you should never leave practicing for a show to the last minute, or else the outcome would not be good.
Sam and her goat were to be entered in the Goat Association of Nova Scotia’s Summer Classic Dairy Goat Show on August 22, 2012 at the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition. The day started out with loading Spirit into the back of a Ford Focus station wagon. Yep, that’s right; Sam’s family didn’t own a livestock trailer, and her mother refused to drive her father’s Diesel truck, so they took the car. Once at the show grounds, Spirit was placed in her pen and given hay, water and grain. You would think that a 4′ tall steel gated pen would hold a goat, but not Spirit. Just as the show commenced, Spirit decided that she would rather be on the other side of those steel gates, and succeeded. Lucky for us, Spirit didn’t have far to run with so many people around. Once back in her pen, she was tied by the hay net and groomed for showmanship.
This was it. The first goat class both Sam and Spirit had ever entered, and it was junior showmanship, against mostly 4-H kids. Sam made sure her and Spirit were not first in the ring, so they may follow and pick up a few things. In total, eight people entered the class, all of them 15 years old and under. Sam didn’t believe she had a chance, as Spirit was not being the calmest goat in the world. The judge then got every exhibitor to switch goats. Spirit was handed off to an older girl, while Sam was given an Alpine doeling to show. This did not make Spirit happy, and she began to act up even more. Once the class had finished, Sam came home with a 3rd place finish and Spirit had earned her handler a 5th place finish. For someone who has never shown a goat before, Sam did pretty well.
Next up was Spirit’s conformation class. She was entered into the unregistered/unrecorded section of the show in the dry yearling class. Her only other competitor was a black Nubian. Spirit was doing extremely well until the judge started inspecting her. As soon as he laid a finger on her, she started stepping out of line, wiggling, trying to run, jump on Sam and she was even kicking. Let’s just say she stood out a lot. Sam and Spirit managed to earn a 2nd place ribbon in that class, and because they placed top 2, they qualified for the Junior Champion class. She competed against the top two does from Junior Doeling, Senior Doeling and Dry Yearling classes. After some hard decision-making, Junior Champion was awarded to a Junior Doeling, while Reserve Junior Champion was given to the black Nubian from the Dry Yearling class. The judge did mention to look out for Spirit in 2013, though!
All in all, it was a very fun day for both Spirit and Sam. Since then, Sam has increased her knowledge about showing goats, and just might be able to bring home a red ribbon this year with Spirit, or our new Junior Doe, Clover!