Monday, July 19, 2010

2010 Show Season

The 2010 show season started off with a trip up to Plymouth, in gold country. And, just like 2009, we did not bring home any ribbons for our herd. It probably did not help that the night before the show, I milked pretty late, so the does did not even have 12 hours of milk before we walked in the ring. It's a nice show though for some reason the Nubians were exceptionally loud this year and both Andy and I ended up with headaches, though on the plus side we got to see lots of our goat-owning friends.

The next show we had planned on attending was in Red Bluff, and it was a new-to-us show with a bonus of getting to see the new place our friends Sierra and Shane had purchased just about half an hour from the show grounds. However, due to the exceptionally long, wet spring we'd had, several of our does came down with a skin infection that I was pretty sure had been picked up at a show. We went to UC Davis for a diagnosis and about $550 and a couple of skin cultures later had treatment in hand. However, the treatment wasn't available until after the show, so we decided not to take our goats and expose others to whatever we had been exposed to. Turns out that the skin condition was a staph infection, and is commonly seen in dairy goats during wet springs and is easy to treat. So, no big deal, just not very attractive. I still wanted to get a break from the farm though, so we ended up going to the show, which was well attended, with more Nigerians there than any other breed. We also got to see our friend Shelley Young dual finish her gorgeous doe Sly Farms GN Catalina, a daughter of our buck Guy Noir. His other daughter there, Little Dipper GN Flash Dance was consistently second to her half sister Catalina, in their large two year old class.

That's Catalina in front, with Flashdance close behind.

The weekend was surprisingly tiring for going up without any goats!

Finally, Memorial Day weekend brought us to one of our favorite shows, which is the Redwood Empire Dairy Goat Association show (REDGA). Four rings of senior does, four rings of junior does, a costume contest, goat calling contest, the fantastic buffet with goat cheeses, fantastic food, doeling auction, delicious desserts, and lots of strong competition. This year it also hosted a Nigerian Dwarf Specialty, which is only the second one I've been able to get to since we started showing with ADGA.

We did well at REDGA, with CRF Castle Rock Irish Cream winning GCH in two rings (including the Specialty), CRF Castle Rock Blizzard winning GCH in one ring and RGCH in another, CRF Castle Rock Alum Root winning GCH in one ring and RGCH in another, and CRF Castle Rock Roxanne going RGCH in one ring and winning Best Udder in the specialty show. In the specialty show, we also won best dam and daughter with Roxanne and her dam, Castle Rock Annabelle, Senior get of Sire with three Guy Noir daughters, and best three does with Blizzard, Roxanne, and Irish Cream. Three of our junior does, Siren Song, Moon River, and Sun Sapphire went RGCH.

Because several of the shows that we have gone to in the past have had to move for various reasons, and because we skipped the Red Bluff show, I decided to try heading up to a show the weekend between REDGA and Linear Appraisal. Due to various factors, I also had to go alone, leaving Andy at home to hold down the fort, but that also meant a good deal more work for me, doing most of the loading and unloading myself. Andy is also the one who makes sure that I remember to eat and get enough to drink, since show weekends find me hovering over the girls, doing way more hand milking than at home, talking with people who come by to see the goats or ask questions, and taking care of paper work. It is not uncommon for me to see that it is almost dinner time and I may have only finished half of breakfast by then. Oh, and did I mention that I can be really absent minded? I think about 25% of my time at shows is spent looking for something I know I just had a minute ago.

So, even though it was kind of crazy, I packed up five milkers and six junior does and drove the 5+ hours up to Ferndale. What a gorgeous drive! Route 20 takes you through beautiful oak-studded hills, around Clear Lake, ending at 101, where you then head up to redwood country. The does weren't overly happy with the winding roads-- Moon River spent most of the drive facing backwards in her crate with her head literally buried in straw-- but I enjoyed it. The Humbolt Dairy Goat Club is made up of some of the nicest people! I don't know if I've ever gotten a warmer welcome at a show than these people gave me. The show and pens are all in one very large enclosed building at the fairgrounds and the facility was pretty nice.

The weather was consistent the whole weekend, whether the sun was up or not- mid-50s and cloudy. I didn't see the sun for 48 hours! But, the girls didn't seem to mind too much, and settled in very well. The first day, I finished Algedi Farm H Purple Rain, with Blizzard going Best Udder and RGCH in the first ring, and GCH & Best Udder in the second. Irish Cream went reserve to Blizzard in the second ring of the day. Junior does Moon River and Sugar Bush earned their junior champion legs, and because I was so busy trying to wrangle people into showing my juniors, I forgot to write down which of my juniors went reserve (but two of them did!). I also got a surprise visit from my friend Melanie who lives a few hours away but showed up at the show anyway! What a great day!

I camped at the fairgrounds, and would you believe, the people in a tent about 40 feet from mine snored SO loudly that it woke me up. Three times!

Sunday brought another two senior doe rings, and in the first one, Blizzard went GCH and Best Udder, giving her that third leg she needed to finish. Alum Root went reserve to Blizzard, and in the next ring went GCH and Best Udder, while Irish Cream went reserve. When the judge was looking at all of the Best Udder of Breed does to give Best Udder in Show, she noted that she was surprised to see that the doe who milked out the best was the Nigerian- Alum Root. :) Sun Sapphire and Moon River won GCH junior doe, and then it was finally time to go home.

Finishing two does in one weekend was definitely worth the long drive!