Brunets have more fun at Lincoln goat show

July 09, 2004|EMILY BURTON

STANFORD - Blondes may have more fun, but brunets came out the winners Thursday at the Lincoln County Fair. Of course, it's hard to win the goat show when the star has spotlight jitters.

Babe the goat wasn't sure she liked following her classmates around the ring and let friend Rachel Wilson know it. Rachel dragged the lock-legged blonde around the ring like a professional, her father Mike watching from the sidelines.

"You're fine. We're proud of you regardless of how you do," he had told Rachel before she took the ring.

After a valiant try, Babe and Rachel left the ring without a ribbon but toward a much deserved play time.

"She acts like she's a dog," said Rachel, who had raised her from a kid. "She's just, she's just real nice."

Redheads had their share of fun as well, though the competition was fierce. H.F. Bonnie, a nanny goat from Hanging Fork Farm, was a sweet lass in the ring, all eyes and show business as the judges passed among others, some that had just returned from nationals.


"If you notice on his goat, she's got a bell around her neck. The horns don't work," joked Roger Sparkman.

Sparkman didn't show his own horned cuties this week, but last year his jail bait billy took the blue ribbon.

"What I like to do is go into the costume class," he explained. Last year, Homer the goat wore a striped prison suit complete with ball and chain to the show.

"He's not mean. He's a baaaaaaad goat," giggled Roger's granddaughter, Leah Sparkman.

This year only one costumed clown entered the contest. And he almost ate his disguise before showing it off. Chuckie the clown, sporting very un-ram like glitter, was kept on grazing watch before the show. His pink bandana still looked a bit chewed.

"He's just too cute not to (dress up). He looks like a clown. He acts like a clown, too," said Jessica Johnson of Keinan Farm, Forkland.

Keinan Farm also brought a black-haired beauty to the show. Star, an earless breed, took first place in her dairy class.

"She's having a great time. She's been jumping up in the air tonight," said Robin Hall.

Owner Nancy Criss said Star won on merit alone, like "her udder attachment and capacity for her age ... dairy character and her will to milk."

Such character dissection was at the heart of the show.

"Massive chest, massive rumps, big necks, for the meat," said Roger Sparkman of meat goats. "People say, 'I'll never eat goat!' If you've ever eaten a pepperoni pizza, you've eaten goat." He described the meat as a heart patient's dream, "good, lean, low cholesterol meat."

But plenty of the contestants would go home as prized pets rather than pepperoni Thursday.

"We pretty much feed ours on a sliver platter," said Cori Todd of the goats of Sids Kids Farm, Waynesburg. She had shown two-month-old Whitney, freshly named that night. The kid was named in jest after a famous singer following her loud, continuous protests against her participation in the show.

"She gets real loud, and starts jumping around whenever people are watching her," explained Todd. "She's spoiled. She's very spoiled. She'll actually stand up for us and let us scratch her arms."

As Babe and Bonnie, Star and Whitney departed to their separate suites for the evening, Todd grabbed a bleating kid and marched to the waiting trailer. After a hot, dusty show, she could still smile and say, "It's been an experience and a half."

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