Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Topsfield Fair

Ahh... the last fair of the year! And we went out with a BANG!

We left for Topsfield on time on Friday afternoon. We finally got the "pack and go" routine down! About an hour into the trip we hit traffic. We moved less than five miles in 45 minutes. We decided to take a chance and got off the route Mapquest had given us. We hit yet another traffic jam and abandoned the major highway route altogether. We tried asking for directions at a Dunkin Donuts, but none of the teenagers there knew how to get to Topsfield (or that it even existed!).

We took a state road that headed east and hoped we would hit a major highway at some point. We did after an hour of driving. Of course there was tons of traffic there too, but at least it was moving. We eventually got to the fairgrounds. Our expected trip of two and half hours took six hours!

We off-loaded and went to bed. Despite the long journey up to the fair, the girls were glad to have time to get their animals (and themselves) ready before the 4-H portion of the goat show. Abby and Hannah were the only ones showing on Saturday and both did very well in the fitting competition. I think they both took third in their classes.

Showmanship was frustrating for them as the judge didn't know maneuvers and actually told them to do one incorrectly. The judge then asked Abby to explain what was good about her doe. Abby started her answer with the general appearance category. The judge corrected her and told she must ALWAYS start with the udder because on the scorecard it has the most points (35). Abby politely answered that General Appearance was also 35 points. He gruffly told her to not argue with the judge. He placed her sixth. She left the ring frustrated and nearly in tears. She was an awesome big sister though and rushed over to tell Hannah what had happened before she entered her class. Hannah was able to answer to the satisfaction of the judge and was placed third.

Both girls realized that this judge was very focused on the mammary system so when the Judging competition came up, they were able to accurately place the does the way the judge did and with similar reasons. Both of them placed first in their judging classes and Abby won Best Overall Judging with a perfect score. Abby said it was bittersweet as she only placed well because she answered the way the judge wanted, not the way she would have personally judged the animals.

Sunday was the ADGA part of the fair with an Open Senior and Junior show. Thankfully it was a different judge from the 4-H show. Surprisingly, our doe, Cedars of Lebanon Rodoric, won Champion Junior Oberhasli! On Monday, she was Reserve Champion Junior Oberhasli.

Hannah's alpine doe came into heat while we were at the fair. An alpine breeder from Maine offered to take her back to his farm to breed her for Hannah. Hannah was so grateful, as she was going to miss getting her bred to a local buck, since we were still at the fair.

We had a great time at the fair. We met some wonderful new people and reconnected with others that we haven't seen since Nationals. Now we will settle into breeding our does and preparing for winter!
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