Thursday, September 23, 2010

It Was A Grand 'Ole Fair!

Last week we were preparing for the 2010 North Carolina Mountain State Fair. Rothey and Katie loaded 16 sheep Friday morning and delivered them to the WNC Agricultural Center. We love being in the barn "talking sheep" with others after settling our flock and setting up our information table.
Saturday is the shorn fleece competition and then the junior show begins. I enjoyed a day of spinning since we no longer have showmen 18 and under. This year we had so many more people interested in "talking sheep" instead of asking all those "interesting" questions---are these goats? Why do those other sheep have coats on? What do they do with the wool they are trimming? Yes, we had plenty of those questions as well.

Sunday at 10:00 the open show began with the ram lamb classes. In the picture above Lauren is in pink on the left with Midnight and her boyfriend, Joe has Jack Frost. Then comes Katie with Mapleton Thunder.

Katie was very pleased when Thunder took 1st place out of 11 natural colored Shetland ram lambs. Jack Frost was a respectable 3rd and Midnight was 4th.

After the ram lamb and yearling lamb classes, 4 rams compete for Champion Shetland ram and Reserve Champion. We were very excited to receive the Reserve Champion ribbon. (You can tell by the smile on Katie's face!) Thank you, Kara!! :)

Below, Katie is showing Rare Find Farm Heartthrob for Lynn Michaels. Katie is now the proud owner of this little ewe lamb. We weren't planning on bringing any more ewes in for a while but she was irresistable!! Lynn will bring her to SAFF in October after she is shown at our NC State Fair in Raleigh.

In come our natural colored Shetland Ewe lambs. Lauren has Stormy, Joe has Dew Drop and Katie has Aurora. Stormy and Aurora are twins. I was somewhere in the ring with April Showers. There were 15 ewe lambs in this class with only 8 placed. April received a 4th place, our best. Stormy was 7th and Aurora was 8th. There were lots of pretty little girls in this class. The judge kept talking about how diversified the Shetland fleeces were and that she was going to go with what she liked best.

Below is the yearling class. We entered 4 yearlings. Camille placed 2nd in the white class. In the natural colored class Katie is showing Electra, a grey kat. Joe has Christmas who will be leaving for Virginia in a few weeks. Lauren has Solitaire, a light grey kat. There were about 10 yearlings in this class and Lauren placed 1st with Solitaire. Electra was 4th and Christmas was 5th. We feel successful if we can place in the top half of the class.

The pair of ewes for each breed is always a fun class. Katie with help from her 4-H friend, Kelsie, placed 1st with Cara and Sprinkles, two aged ewes. Lauren and Joe were 3rd with Jackie and Camille. There were about 10 Shetland pairs in this class.

We are very fortunate here in NC to be able to show aged ewes. They are usually our best trained sheep. They know exactly what to do in the show ring. After showing for many years, Katie and Lauren prefer to show without halters. These ewes walk in with presence and enjoy being in the ring.

Lauren is above with Cara. She had a year off from breeding. Joe has Amelia and Katie has one of our favorites, Shania. There I am too with Katie's ewe, Sprinkles. Joe and I use a halter just in case! :)

Lauren placed 1st in the white aged ewe class with Jackie O. There were 13 natural colored aged Shetland ewes and Lauren placed 1st with Cara. Katie was 2nd with Shania, I was 5th with Sprinkles and Joe was 8th with Amelia.

The 3 Dotson girls took Jackie, Solitaire and Cara in to the Champion Shetland ewe class. Lauren was proud of Cara when she took Champion Shetland ewe! Just look at that smile!

We were very proud of our sheep and all the contacts we made with people that loved them too!

Our shorn fleeces placed well on Saturday also. In the white class, Solitaire was 2nd and Camille was 3rd. Katie later sold Solitaire's fleece. In the natural colored class Abby was 1st, Christmas was 3rd, Shania was 4th, Electra was 6th and Amelia was 7th. I believe that there were 12 entries.

The weather was hot and beautiful this year! Rothey and I even rode the chairlift...twice! We were able to get home and unloaded in the daylight...a weekend of fun!! It was a grand 'ole fair!!
Yes, my Dad would have been proud too!! I sure missed calling and telling him about all our sheep and their ribbons. Ribbons or not, we know we are champions. Dad always made sure we knew!!