Monday, August 25, 2008

The Chester Fair

We had so much fun at the Chester Fair this weekend! The weather couldn't have been more perfect! Sunshine, a few puffy clouds, temperatures in the mid 80's, with the overnight temps in the mid 50's!

Hannah's chickens received 11 blue ribbons, 7 red ribbons, and 3 white ribbons! She was thrilled! So far in all of the fairs, one of her chickens has consistantly been a first place bird and has won best bantam in show a few times. Hannah is looking forward to trying to breed this bird and hatch some eggs to raise.

I am really not a chicken person, myself. I like to eat chicken, and I think the chickens sense this about me. This fair, for some reason they put nearly all of Hannah's chickens up on the top shelf. Hannah couldn't reach the birds to get them out of their cages at the end of the fair weekend. Lucky me got to put my hands into the cages of rather stressed out birds, catch them, pull them screaming from their cages, and then hand them off to Hannah. As soon as they were in Hannah's capable hands they quieted right down. As much as I don't like chickens, they don't like me!

Abby placed nearly last in her showmanship class, but we had expected it since she was unable to prepare her goat on Friday due to our hauling in hay that day. She is such a gracious loser, I admire her more for the way she handled the loss, than if she had won. Abby's goats showed well in the breed classes and Jones took 3rd in the working goat class.

Abby really impressed Sam and I this weekend with her maturity and wise decision making skills. On Saturday afternoon, when all the showing was done, she came to me and said that she wanted us to sell Jack and James. Jack and James were the two wethers we had let her keep to make a cart goat team. She told us she really wanted to focus on training Jones for the single cart and she didn't have the time to give Jack and James the focus they needed. I was very proud of her and I know it wasn't easy for her to make that decision since she very much loves those goats.

God blessed her decision though. We hung our "For Sale" sign up on Sunday morning. A few hours later an older couple approached our pens and started to ask questions about goats. The good kinds of questions. The kinds of questions that let you know they have done some research and have thought about it beyond, "They're so cute. Wouldn't it be fun to have a pet goat?"

We told them about Jack and James. They asked more questions, said they were interested but had to go and talk about it. The wife came back with her sister a few hours later. They asked a few more questions, the husband went back home to check his pastures for poisonous plants, the sister volunteered to "goat-sit" if needed. The wife came back again a few hours later and told me they would buy Jack and James. Abby was so happy that they get to stay together, and they are going to a loving family with many acres of pasture and a barn.

Rachel and Samantha upon overhearing the wife and I discussing pick-up at our next fair, started to cry a little. I said something to Samantha and Rachel said that she was going to show Jack at the next fair. The woman, said she would love to watch Rachel show Jack and she wouldn't take them to their new home until after the show at the next fair. Rachel smiled and thanked her (a shocking event in and of itself!).

Oh! and our new goat from Minnesota won Best Jr Doe in Show! The look on Abby's face was priceless when she was handed the blue rosette! Of course with all the chaos right before the fair, I had forgotten my camera. We have never won a "best in show" ribbon before.

Chester Fair was a good fair in so many ways!
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