When we got to Nationals, we noticed a camera crew walking around taking video and doing interviews. They were wearing “Promote the Goat” t-shirts and passing out buttons. We found out they were doing a documentary on goats, so we cornered them and started talking about our dream: big, beautiful, colorful working goats. We told them about Cuzco: the $25 dairy herd cull that sparked a passion. They wanted to meet him. I told them that wethers are not allowed at Nationals but that maybe I could still bring him up when I came back later in the week if I kept him in the parking lot. So that’s what we did.
We had quite the set-up in our truck. I built a run-in shed that fit behind the cab for Cuzco to take shelter in. It actually worked really well! I also installed the igloo we’d gotten for Nibbles when we transported her up to the show because we would be coming home with both goats in the bed, and I wasn’t sure Cuzco would allow her to share his shelter. Then the cart was crammed in behind everything else.
We were quite the Beverly Hillbillies and got an awful lot of strange looks as we drove down the interstate. A few people even passed, slowed down, then passed again, some with cameras clicking on the second go-round.
Cuzco was surprisingly happy with the whole set-up. When we got to the show I put the igloo up top to give him more room. It was cooler out in the parking lot than it was in the show barns, and as this was the end of the week, the air was definitely fresher outdoors than in!
The camera crew came out later that day and did a lengthy interview with Cuzco. He strutted up and down the street with his cart, and each of them also took a ride. He also did his tricks (although not very well… he was pretty cranky about being hauled to a strange place on a hot day and forced to drag total strangers around a parking lot). But despite is lack of interest in doing tricks, Cuzco still posed for the camera with all his usual dignity. The documentary probably won’t be finished for another year, and who knows if Cuzco’s part will make the final cut, but if it does I’ll post a link.
July was insane! It broke down into 1.) Getting ready for Nationals and cramming in Saddle Club and a horse show. 2.) Going to Nationals in Loveland and cramming in Saddle Club in Rye (these things are a good 3+ hours apart). 3.) Recovering from Nationals and catching up with more Saddle Club.
Because of the driving distance and the fact that I had to keep traveling back and forth, Nationals was an exhausting experience despite the fact that I only brought one goat. Actually, by the end we had two up there… more details on that later. It was a BLAST though! I think there were about 2,500 goats, which is more than I could possibly have imagined! This is a view of about half of one of the three big barns, plus they had three big tents set up outside for yet more goats. It was amazing!
The lighting wasn’t good, so I didn’t get very many photos. I didn’t even get a photo of my favorite goat at the whole show. She belonged to Olentangy Alpines from Tacoma, WA. I wanted her so badly I almost cried when we had to leave without her. But she was also the owner’s favorite and he wouldn’t part with her. She’s not in this photo, but this was her herd:
I probably made a nuisance of myself, hanging around their pen the way I did.
There were so many cute babies it was almost unbearable not to climb into their pens and cuddle with them. I especially loved this pile of Nubians:
I had a friend of mine show Nibbles since I’d never even watched a goat show and she knew what she was doing. Also, I didn’t have any white clothes and she did. I took a video but it didn’t come out very well, so not worth posting. Nibbles did not behave very well for my friend. She kept trying to turn and bash the goat behind her in line and then wouldn’t stand still. She didn’t place, but I had a lot of fun watching and I learned a lot. Nibbles also got a lot of compliments from people as we walked around the show grounds. She’s a very flashy little thing, even if she didn’t win any ribbons. My “favorite goat at the whole show” didn’t win any ribbons either, but her twin sister won 1st place. They were both in Nibbles’ class. Too bad the one that didn’t win is the one that both me and her owner are in love with. I hoped he would change his mind about selling after the results of the show, but there was no convincing him.
As Nibbles’ shaved show coat began to grow out she got this funny little whirligig on her head:
Nibbles is learning basic goat tricks!
She dances very well right now, walking forward, backward, and in circles on her hind legs. I wonder if I’m going to regret teaching her this next week when we go to Nationals. She’ll be the one goat who steals the show by strolling into the ring on her hind legs like a person.
And then she’ll probably offer to shake hands with the judge.
Also, it’s official: Cuzco actually likes Nibbles now and feels it’s his duty to protect her. When Phil and I took the goats for a walk the other day, Nibbles kept asserting herself by walking directly in front of Phil. So Phil would bump her with his foot every time she got in his way. After about three times, Cuzco noticed and got mad at Phil for pushing “his” kid around. As Phil’s foot bumped Nibbles’ side, Cuzco charged in, swinging his horn menacingly at Phil. Of course, we put a quick stop to that, but we were very happy to see that Cuzco is finally feeling a bit of paternal instinct toward Nibbles.