Sheep show at Moffat County Fair sees kids of all ages gain skills with wooly entrants
Though sheep have a reputation for being docile, easily controlled animals, all it takes is one sudden burst of adrenaline by the animal to upset months of work when they’re on display.
Keeping calm under that pressure is one of the many skills Moffat County 4-H competitors have learned and showcased.
The Wednesday sheep show at the fair saw kids in junior, intermediate and senior categories put forth their best foot in handling the hairy livestock in showmanship and marketplace events.
Winning the grand champion market honors with a lamb named Nemo was Katie Timmer, an incoming Moffat County High School freshman.
Victoria Peck took home the blue ribbon in the intermediate event for ages 11 to 14 with her lamb Ferdinand.
The 6-month-old animal put up a little bit of fight when in the ring, but Peck said she was able to get him calm and also keep her own poise required to impress judges.
“He’s pretty strong, almost like a bull,” Peck said. “Sometimes they jump, and if they do, it’s hard to catch them. I tried to make good eye contact when I was out there. I liked that the judge told me what to do, because I went in having no idea.”
This is the first year showing sheep for Peck, who’s got more experience working with pigs, and she’ll also be in the market swine show this week.
Winning the junior showmanship title was 9-year-old Graden Comstock with his lamb Bruce.
Unlike Peck, Comstock has worked exclusively with sheep.
“My sheep really behaved and sat up for me,” Comstock said.
In his second year showing 4-H animals, Comstock said he always enjoys working with sheep.
“It’s all my favorite,” he said.
Taking the reserve champion honor behind Comstock was Ava Myers. Despite feeling a little sad about not getting the top spot in that category, she promptly turned it around moments later in the Class 1 market round for sheep 114 to 121 pounds.
Getting that championship ribbon felt great, she said, especially showing her lamb Timmy in both rounds so that both of them got a second chance.
“I think it was going better this time,” Myers said. “He was nervous the first time and then kind of knew what to do.”
In her first year showing sheep, Myers has already learned how tricky the animals can be, though she’s bonded quite a bit with Timmy.
“What’s kind of tough about it is making the lamb go, but what I really like is how they brace,” Myers said. “He braced really good with me. I liked feeding him and spending time him.”
The Class 2 round saw Trinity Boulger win her second ribbon of the day after cleaning up in the senior showmanship event.
Her market lamb, Ted, is one she expected would do well this week.
“When we first picked him out, he was one you looked at and you could tell he was a good lamb,” Boulger said. “He was really green when I got him and didn’t have a lot of fat, just wasn’t finished yet. We finished him out and worked on the leg hair. The more we could do, the better.”
The two ribbons she won Wednesday are among dozens of awards the seasoned farmgirl has won across the years, both at home events and across the country, working with horses, sheep, goats, swine, and cattle.
The 2022 Moffat County High School graduate and current University of Wyoming student just made it into one more year of 4-H eligibility, and this year takes on a different level of poignancy for Boulger.
“It’s bittersweet being able to do this one last time before I start working on the sidelines here and helping other kids,” Boulger said.
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