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Goats, sheep kick off shows in Auxvasse

Goats, sheep kick off shows in Auxvasse

July 12th, 2019 by Quinn Wilson in Local News

Bryan Kutz, left, judges the goats of Maeley Parrish, middle, and Bryor Delashmutt during the goat show Thursday. The goats are is just one of many species shown that take place throughout the Callaway Youth Expo.

Photo by Quinn Wilson /Fulton Sun.

Nearly 100 goats and sheep strutted their stuff Thursday at the Callaway Youth Expo.

Day three of the expo at the Lions Club Park in Auxvasse kicked off its variety of species shows. Participants of all ages had the opportunity to strut their showmanship skills, whether they were showing their own hand-raised animal or just borrowing one from a friend.

"I love sharing what I've learned with someone else so I build generations in the goat populations," said 16-year-old Maeley Parrish, who won four categories in the goat show alone.

Parrish owns 10 goats. Rather than showing as many as she can at the expo, she enjoys lending them to newer participants and coaching them along the way.

The goat show featured approximately 65 goats packed into categories including dairy, market and breeding. The sheep show featured approximately 30 sheep. Within each category, the goats were broken into various classes dependent on the ages of the goats and the ages of the show-people.

Participants competed in various categories and took home a number of honors. The winners of each class faced off with one another at the end of each category in order to pick an overall "grand champion" and a runner-up "reserve champion." Class winners received ribbons, while grand champions of categories received a cooler and $50, and the reserve champions were awarded a cup and $25.

The contest was open to participants from Callaway and outside counties.

Parrish, like many others, competed in both goat and sheep shows. Parish said the process of raising and showing goats and sheep are fairly similar and can go hand-in-hand.

"This show keeps me a lot more focused, and I feel like I have more concentration because of all of the different classes I get to compete in," she said.

Cindy Parrish, Maeley's mother, said the process of raising a goat is not "too difficult." She said the main points to properly raising them include the "right conditions," how they are fed and how often they are walked.

"Goats can be very tempermental," Cindy said. "Sometimes it just depends more on the day the goats are having rather than the skill and time of the owner."

University of Arkansas instructor Bryan Kutz judged the goat and sheep show. He has been around species shows for nearly 30 years.

"I know a lot about all of the categories, whether they like my opinion or not," said Kutz, who's in his third year judging at the expo.

Kutz said the category of the species show determines what he looks for. With the dairy category, he is looking for the overall health and ability to give milk. As for the breeding category, he is looking at the overall structure of the animals. Finally, with the market animals, he is looking for good amounts of muscle and fat on the animals, as they would be used for meat.

"The top end of the competition was really good, and the kids were wonderful," Kutz said.

Another portion of the shows included the "showmanship category," in which the participants are judged solely on their performance and attentiveness to their animals rather than the other way around.

Cassidy Hunt, of Mexico, took home a first-place finish in the showmanship portion of the goat show. The 19-year-old has been showing animals since she was 5 years old.

"I love the connections you make here," said Hunt, who took home five first-place finishes in the goat and the sheep shows.

The Callaway Youth Expo will run through tomorrow, and the remainder of the expo will feature rabbit, cattle and horse shows, among others.