09/30/05 — Judges make their marks

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Judges make their marks

By Turner Walston
Published in News on September 30, 2005 1:53 PM

A lot of judging took place Thursday at the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair. Educational booths, artwork and even goats were judged on everything from orginality to conformation.

Dozens of area children and their goats competed in the showmanship and meat goat categories Thursday at the Open Junior Meat Goat Show. For three hours,

Judge Randall White instructed the children to lead their goats around the ring, lining them up. As White passed down the line, the children shifted positions, maintaining eye contact and making sure their goat always faced the judge.

White meticulously inspected each goat and presenter, asking questions about the particular goat, or goats in general. Through a series of heats, he carefully selected the winners. After each heat, White told attendees the reasons behind his selections.

Grete Majerle, 13, presented at the Wayne fair for the second year. Her 8-month-old goat is named Marilyn.

"She's so blonde and so prissy," Grete said of Marilyn, whom she presented in both the meat and showmanship categories.

Grete said goat show judges vary from show to show, but they look for common qualities in goats and their presenters.

"Showmanship. It's how you present your goat and how accurate you are," Grete said before Thursday's show. "It's how well you keep your eye on the judge,.

In the meat category, the standard is a little more basic.

"It's how thick their loin or shoulder are, how over-conditioned your goat is. How well it's put together," Grete said.

Grete said her experience on the circuit helped her prepare for this year's fair.

"I was nervous last year, but I'm a lot more relaxed," she said.

Grete said working with the goats day to day helped get them ready to show.

"She's just really easygoing," Grete said of Marilyn. "You build a relationship with a goat."

J.A. Joyner, 15, of Clinton, won Reserve Champion in the Meat Goat Show. His goats, Superman and Million-Dollar Baby, won Divisions 4 and 7, respectively. J.A. has been showing goats for six years.

"You don't want them to be over-conditioned," he said of the meat goats. "You want plenty of meat in his loin and his hind. Some good legs, and you need them long."

J.A. said he works with his goats seven days a week, rising early to feed them, and walking them when he gets home from school.

"It's something me and my dad can do just to be together," J.A. said of the goat show circuit. "The best thing is when we travel and meet new people."

"It's a fun experience," J.A. said. "I think everybody should try it at least once."

Although Marilyn didn't place for Grete, she wasn't disappointed.

"It's fine," she said. "Different judges like different kinds of goats."

And just as Grete cautioned before the show, "Goats will have their off days, too."