For the past 4 years of my involvement with the fair and goat show, I take pictures. Lots of them. This year was no different. If you'd like to see them all CLICK HERE to take you to the photo site.

What a great show we had this year. It was the same amount of goats, but less exhibitors. Which in hindsight was alot easier. Goats don't complain. :)

The goats come in friday morning, get put up in their pens. 10x10 stalls in the barn. All exhibitors are exhausted getting here but the show hasn't even started yet. Usually we have family's with only 4-7 goats, but sometimes we have the big dogs come in too. Meaning they travel with over 40 goats. One year we had one breeder bring 60 goats. Thats alot of goats....feeds, hay, equipment, and so on. This year we had 170+ goats showing. Not huge but impressive. Class entries were down a bit but that means more winnings for the entrants as all exhibitors took home money.

Here is a short explanation on showing and payouts. And the reason its so important to rural families and hobbiest that have farms.

The South Florida Goat show lasts 3 days. Friday night is SHOWMANSHIP. This is where all the kids 5 thru 18 are judged on their merits of showing, clipping, handling, ring stewardship, cleanliness and so on. Its not about the goats so much or the goats conformation but the child handling this goat. This years winner was a first time show exhibitor, and first time goat owner. We are so proud of her.

The next day we have the YOUTH SHOW (human children aged 5-18). Which lasts about 4 hours. This is where the kids show their goats. What makes this different is now the goats are being judged. Each goat shown MUST be owned by the child. They MUST show their own goat it can be of any age or class. And they show based on classes just like the grownups do. This is a show unto itself. As this is for the kids to compete with other kids, who own these goats. The registration papers MUST say the childs name on it.

After lunch we then have the JUNIOR OPEN SHOW. this is where anyone/any age can show their goats. All breeds were represented. Do you know the different dairy breeds?
Alpines, Saanens, Sables, Toggenburgs, Oberhasli, Nubian, Nigerian Dwarf, Lamancha and then we have a Recorded grade. This is where a combination of any purebred is registered in the books as recorded grade. So you can breed a nubian to a lamancha. and so on if you like.

The Show works by class. Each breed is a class of their own. So, 9 classes but then within that class is age breakdowns. Plus more group classes. Junior in this case means the age of the goat. NOT the person. So adults and children can show, and this is where conformation of the goat is judged. The junior show means it must be a junior goat not yet freshened. (in milk or have had babies). This part of the show last another 4 hours in general, depending on entries.

On Sunday is the OPEN SENIOR SHOW. This again is where anyone/any age can show their goats, or their farms goats, BUT they must be a goat that has freshened. Meaning a goat that has had babies. and is in milk. has been milked or is dry. There is an age limit the goat must fall into and that is how we know what CLASS to put them in inside the BREED class. See this is getting confusing.... So you have your goat, which is a certain BREED, then a certain AGE, and then shown in that class.

For instance a 2 year old Nubian shows in the 2 year old Nubian class. AND if it comes in first or second in the 2 year old Nubian class, it goes on to show in the BIB class (best of breed). This is where ALL the Nubians of all ages come into the ring who won their age class, and compete. So its fun to watch this. A young yearling can beat out a 3 year old milker. Its just one of those things that make it fun to watch and interesting. NOW once that Nubian wins BIB, it can also then go onto show in BIS (best in show). THis is where ALL the goats that win BIB get judged together. So at one time you will have Nubian next to Lamancha, next to a recorded grade. The goat that wins BIB and BIS is one HAPPY GOAT.

Before the final BIB and BIS classes there are other classes goats can enter like Champion challenge (meaning they are a champion from another show), Produce of Dam, Get of Sire, Family,and so on. Lots of different group classes you can enter. As long as its familial in some way. Dam and daughter. Dam and 2 daughters and so on...Some shows get creative and have group classes for best udders and what not.

This explanation above also works for all the shows mentioned above. NOW here is the kicker. EACH class you enter your goat into has an actual cash value. woohoo! it pays out from first place to sixth place starting at $30. and for the youth? first place to 8th place. So a goat wins its age class, cha-ching. Then its breed class, cha-ching, then its BIS, vavavooom that pays out $100. add up all those classes and then the group classes, and if you have kids (the human kind) that are aged 5-18, youth classes, then junior classes, then senior classes.... If you enter the show in all the different classes it is not unheard of for a family to go home with over $4000 in their pocket. At the very least it helps the goat win its "legs" in the ADGA record book. Which of course, means that this is an impressive doe, one that you want to buy from. So all this is important to breeders. A leg is a win in a show. So theoretically you can win 3 legs in three shows. But its not that easy. All judges are different. Judge differently.

And don't forget? the herdsman awards payout. The poster contest payout. Then all the other payouts. It adds up.

bottom line? by going to a show like this farmers can feed their goats for a year just on their winnings. And this is one of the reasons farmers and breeders are so serious about showing. It helps pay the bills.

BUT wait, this isn't the only show, the SFF is just the first show of the season. There are at least 12-15 shows throughout the state in one years time. Not to mention Georgia and Alabama shows. Heck, if a family wanted to they could probably find a show every weekend of the year in one of these three states.

Hmmmmm!!! i'm thinking i need a trailer.

Happy showing all!

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