Junior Large Animal Master Showmanship

This year was an especially good fair year for our family.

The two older ones placed higher in their competitions then they had ever placed and Bookworm won the junior goat showmanship.

Which qualified her for the big competition, master showmanship.

Master showmanship is where each winner from every species all come together and compete showing all the animals. This can be either large animal or small animal. Since we have done rabbits for years and dabbled in poultry we were a bit more familiar with the small animals (rabbit, cavy, poultry, dog, and pygmy goat). But the large animals? She had never even watched a horse or cattle show and had no idea how to show them.

She had a day and a half before master showmanship and she wasted none of it; I followed her from one end of the barn to the other the whole time, watching her ask other showmen to help her.

She actually found the girl who had won beef so they swapped; after this girl helped Bookworm, they went over to the goat ring and Bookworm helped her and taught her how to show goat.

Horse was interesting...you don't ride the horse but lead it in hand and are actually marked down if you touch anything but the rope. Here she is practicing walking.

Our friend helped her with dairy goat.

And here is where I found her later in the day...she had gone back to the dairy area and asked around and found this FFA guy to help her.

That is what I love about 4H and FFA; everyone that she came up to was willing to either help her out or point her in the right direction.

Here she is getting pointers from another very helpful leader about the swine.

And sheep....

Saturday was master showmanship. After she got all checked in the junior master group became sequestered; no one was allowed to go up and talk with them or make any type of hand motions to them.

Here they are, all waiting to get into the cattle ring.

Beef was first. Slow and steady, watching the judge, and placing the feet of the beast when stopped.

Not only were they showing the animals but all the judges came around and asked them knowledge questions pertaining to that species.

Horse was next.

She had to walk the horse, pivot, walk him backwards three steps, and then trot.

She said this one was the most fun.

 Dairy was next.

Here she is with the judge, but check out that dairy and what's coming out of its mouth. Yes, it was drooling all over her arm. She told me later that she didn't actually realize it until she went out of the ring and had to practically wring out her shirt sleeve.

Swine. (Don't even get me started with how clean you think these animals are. That area of the barn REEKED after 5 days.)

For swine she was actually the last one to be called into the ring, and after about 90 seconds was the first one to be told to leave. (Which is why I only have 2 photos.) No idea why, and I don't know if we'll ever know, since they don't ever release the judging cards.

Goat, which was her specialty.

This wasn't her own goat, though. In master show, you can't show any animal that you have owned or worked with.

She did a great job driving him.

I caught this photo of her between shows; they had water bottles for all the kids and I think she went through about 4 of them.

Dairy goat.

This judge had them switch animals; lots of times they do that in showmanship to see how you handle different animals.

And finally, sheep.

I love it that she was still smiling at the end. When we were looking through these photos I asked her if he had said something funny to her and she said that he was actually asking her a question that she didn't know the answer to and was smiling while she was saying no.

3 hours later and she was done.

All the other kids had gone on rides the day before so she had a couple of hours to relax. A rest well deserved.

We didn't find out the results of master showmanship until Monday. I felt she did a decent job, but she was still a novice, and her one coach had plenty of advice for her and areas to improve on after the competition.

We just enjoyed the rest of the fair, worked hard at the livestock auction on Sunday, and were happy knowing that she had made it to master showmanship.

Which is why on Monday, I was surprised when they called 5th place and it wasn't her. Not 4th, or 3rd, and then when they called 2nd and it still wasn't her...I was actually confused for a second. Until they read her first name, and then stumbled over our last name, as everyone always does.

She had won.

After I stopped yelling I had time to snap a few photos.

And her smile says it all.

I am so proud of her; of the long hours she practiced, of her composure and diligence, and the determination she had.

The 2013 Junior Large Animal Master Showman.


  1. This post made me cry!! I love it. I lover her hard work. I am so proud of her!

    Love YOU too,

  2. The sheep judge is another very good friend of mine Don Lopez, Kristi saw these pictures first and told me Don was her sheep judge! LOL! Do I know everyone or what :) Great job! Wish us luck, or that our hard work will pay off like hers did! I always tell my kids we will smile if we win or lose but we will work twice as hard if we lose so we have a better chance next time, we will never be quitters! I love the smile!

  3. Thank you so much, Kate! Love you, friend.

    Too funny you know the sheep judge, Kerri! And you guys are going to do great at your fair. Your kids are incredible workers and determined to win. :-)


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