I ended up leaving the house a little later on Friday morning than originally planned. It must be noted that I left quietly and unstressed-ly (is that a word?). I got to Lewisburg at the crack of noon. A few people were already there and unloaded. Of course John helped me unload my goats. He’s such a nice guy it makes my teeth hurt sometimes. (And his goats are so very nice too.) So I set up my goats and helped the next few farms unload.
My grand high VAGMA board member-ness landed me a job for the show. I got to check everyone’s veterinary papers to see that the goats were certified healthy within the past 30 days. This is not a glorious job, but it is important. Think of selling food at a public event – if your papers aren’t in order, the Health Inspector can shut your booth down or shut the event down. At a goat show, if your papers aren’t in order, the Vet Inspector can make you and your goats leave, or shut the event down. Amusingly enough, the only irregularities were from two of the biggest, best-run, most responsible-peopled farms in the show. Neither irregularity was anything major, so we crossed our fingers and let it go. (No names or details, thank you.)
I gave up at about 6 to go check into the motel and shower before dinner. Dinner was a group of about ten of us – including the judge – at a place called Food and Friends in historic downtown Lewisburg. The food was fine, the company was great. Trey Speck was the judge for the weekend. He is from Texas, and is in medical school right now. He has been to South Africa, so we talked about kudu and gnu and warthogs and had a good long chat.
Saturday was the colored angora goat show, and Sunday was the white show. Saturday started bright and early so that I could get all of the papers checked before the Judge’s Talk at 9. He told us about the Texan breed standard, Australian markets, South African breed standards, etc. It was a good discussion. Then the show started at 10. We started with junior kid bucks (males born after February 28, 2005) and went up the ages for boys, then started again with the junior kid does and went up to the end of that group. Then we did the “red card” classes (born white or mostly white from colored parents) for both sexes.
I will spare you the endless details of those shows. Suffice to say, Nylan and Dru were really too young to be judged well, and so Trey apologetically placed them last in their rather small classes (fourth and fifth respectively). Theo was much admired for both fleece and body style, and placed second with the comment that if he had better horns – such as Toby’s – he would have placed first. Toby placed third after Theo. Mica was also admired for her body style and her good horns, as well as her “dramatic” coloring, however, her fleece was not exceptional, so she placed third. So, sum total: 1 second place, 2 third’s, 1 fourth, 1 fifth. And now back to talking about the weekend…
A spinning friend of mine day-tripped out to WV on Saturday with her husband. It was really quite a thrill to see her, and know that she came to see me and one other lady at the show. She’s another great-to-know person.
We had Susan Schoenian, the Maryland Extension Agent for ruminants, give a presentation on parasites, anti-parasitic medicines, and integrated pest management, parasite-style. I highly recommend her as a presenter, and her web site has lots of good information on it, including most of what she handed out during the workshop. She gave the presentation with informal conversation including questions on methods and practices. Then we had a fecal qualitative lab, complete with microscopes and such. I won a bottle of SafeGuard (in the new goat formulation!) for finding the perfect coccidia cell for everyone to see. Whoopie. We took a dinner break and then went outside to apply the FAMACHA chart to real live goats. We typed Jessie-goat as a borderline 3, meaning that I should keep an eye on her and probably de-worm her in about a week or so. Susan’s website is http://www.sheepandgoat.com and the parasite information is about halfway down the main page.
My brain was full when I finally collapsed into bed on Saturday night.
Sunday I got to the show pretty early again so that I would be front and center for a CAGBA goat inspection workshop. We got a nifty book and sheet on what is breed standard, minimal, and disqualifying. It was another really good class, and again, I felt like I’d gotten more than my money’s worth for the whole weekend just in that discussion. I pulled Sashimi out so that we could go over all of her faults. Basically, except for her head/ears/horns, she’s got all kinds of minimals and disqualifers. She doesn’t have real hair in her armpits or up to her jawline (it’s really more like fur), she’s got minimal hair lock definition, she’s got a bit of an overbite… http://www.cagba.org/standard.shtml if you want to read up on it.
The white angora show was where my attention started to wander. I was helping hand out ribbons and take pictures, but really, I was pretty much done. I bought too much yarn that is a lovely 50/50 silk/merino blend with fabulous luster.
Never mind, I’m getting distracted by AIM and phone. I’m done with this post for the night. Maybe more later, but that’s pretty much the whole story.