09/28/13 — Nearly 100 goats take to fair ring Saturday

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Nearly 100 goats take to fair ring Saturday

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on September 28, 2013 10:34 PM

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Gabrielle Young shows her goat to the judge at the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair.

DUDLEY -- When 17-year-old Amanda Wheaton doesn't feel well, she goes out into the pasture at her home and sits.

Her goats can sense something is not right and they come up to her and love on her.

That's the kind of bonding Amanda does with all the goats she shows at the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair.

She was one of several youths vying for showmanship and market awards at the annual Open Junior Market Goat Show Friday. She walked away with sixth in showmanship with her 8-month-old goat, Andy.

"I started training him from when he was born," she said. "I spent a lot of time with him."

Spending time with Andy was part of the bonding process for Amanda.

"He's a sweetheart," she said. "He'll nibble on me and everything else. He has a personality for sure. He likes to stick his head out of the goat pen and just twist it all around and cry and holler."

But don't try to touch this goat's ears.

That, she said, is the one thing he hates.

"He got his ear hung one time in the feed trough real bad," Amanda said. "I think he's a little sensitive now. If someone touches his ears now, he just throws his head back and acts like he doesn't like it."

Amanda has been showing goats at the county fair for nine years. And although she said she does borderline at the county fair, the state fair is where she really shines, winning grand champion doe showmanship twice.

"But I was not nervous tonight," she said. "I really just come for the fun of it."

Taking first in senior showmanship was 16-year-old Amber Henderson. She showed Jack, a 7-month-old goat that she trained for five months.

"I just kept working with him to train him," she said. "He was actually pretty difficult to train. He jumped up and did everything he could during training. Finally he calmed down after I just kept working with him.

"He's actually really sweet now."

She was excited to win.

"It's the first time I've won," Amber said. "This is my third year of showing goats."

Brandon Barrow competed with his 1-year-old goat, Ducky.

"I started bonding with him when I was training him," he said. "I would usually sit in his cage with him and play with him. I run at least a mile with him every day. He exercises me. I keep some goat feed in my pocket and when he does good, I feed it to him.

"When he wants to play, he'll rub my leg and try to push against me. He's a snuggler, too."

Brandon said Ducky's favorite thing is to sit down while he's eating.

"He's definitely not that active anymore," he said. "He's got to where he's just plain out lazy."

A total of 90 goats took part in this year's show, said Sampson County Cooperative Extension director Eileen Coite, who was assisting at the show.