We are always exhausted after fair week. Pretty sure everyone is! Chris has been the sheep showmanship coach at our local high school since before we met. I have been helping out ever since. It is always a test of our patience, but we just keep going back year after year. This year we had 12 students showing at the fair and most of them did pretty well. There are few students in the group that really don't care about showing, they are just out there because their boyfriend or girlfriend is showing or their bff convinced them to get a sheep. Although it is a good experience to have taken care of and shown and animal, some kids just aren't cut out for it, and that's totally fine.
Now the rest of them that actually try, are always a pleasure to work with. I think this was our best year yet in terms of showmanship. In FFA, our fair has a novice, Freshman/Sophmore & Junior/Senior class. So if they have never shown before, then they are able to show twice on showmanship day. They started with the older kids and worked their way down to the novice classes this year. It gives the new kids a chance to watch the more experienced showman and to listen to the judge to see what he likes or doesn't like. It was evidently beneficial for some of our kids.
We had 3 of our kids in the top 12 of the Freshman/Sophmore showmanship final drive. One of them was a freshman who had never shown before. It was sooo exciting to see her make it into the 12th place spot, because when she got her lamb 4 months ago, she was so afraid to even touch it. Then we had a sophmore in the 8th spot. She had only made the first cut last year, so she was proud of herself and so were we. THEN, a girl that we have been helping for many years, and Chris helped her older sister, is a sophmore this year. She won her novice showmanship class her first year showing in 4-H (6 years ago), and she won her age division again this year!! Showmanship is pretty tough at our fair. Lots of kids that are really good at what they do. However, she had it hands-down this year. The crowd went wild when he placed her first because she beat two other girls from another local high school that is well known for their sheep showman.
In the picture, she is showing one of our keeper ewe lambs, which got 2nd in it's class to the reserve crossbred.
It was a great year. Now we have a few months off and then jackpot season starts up again.