Local youth bring home awards from National Western Stock Show
A past participant in the National Western Stock Show, 16-year-old Makayla Goodnow said just getting to the show is a big deal, let alone finishing at or near the top.
“There’s not a lot of kids that go from Moffat County,” Goodnow said. “It’s a national show, so it’s bigger than state fair and county because at those shows you’re competing on a county level and then at state you’re competing on a state level.
“There’s people from all over the country at the Stock Show.”
Goodnow, 12-year-old Andrea Maneotis and 6-year-old Dylan Zimmerman all finished at or close to the top of their events this year.
The show took place Jan. 7 through 22 at the National Western Complex in Denver.
Zimmerman won second place in stadium arena mutton bustin’, a rodeo competition that involves trying to ride a sheep for as long as possible.
Rather than train on an animal in the weeks leading up to the show, Zimmerman said he used his brother to practice.
“My brother would roll over top of me and I’d still hang on,” he said.
Zimmerman competed against 80 others in the competition, and took home a trophy almost as tall as him.
He had a bit of a bumpy ride in his qualifying run, in which he placed first.
“The one I won, (the sheep) jumped in the air about 10 feet,” he said “I didn’t know it, but my dad told me.”
But between his unusual training method, and prior experience with dirt biking, Zimmerman was able to hang on.
When he learned in the finals he didn’t win, he was unhappy.
“I got mad,” he said. “I wanted to be in first place.”
In the future, he plans to keep on bustin’ in a national competition in Las Vegas and his plans are to win there, he said.
Maneotis shows animals and left the National Western Stock Show as a grand champion junior showman with a junior market goat.
She said the size of the show can be intimidating when waiting in the holding pen to compete.
“Once you get in there, you have to act like you’re by yourself,” she said. “You’ve got to stand out to (the judges) more than be nervous.”
Standing out and being one of the 15 finalists is a matter of catching the judges’ eyes with the right thing at the right time, she said.
“They look for different things at different times and if you catch their eye at that, then they’ll look at you for another.”
While it was her work with goats that helped her win the championship, Maneotis has also shown pigs and lambs. Her sister, Karissa, also participated in the Stock Show.
Maneotis said her goats are bred for showing and before the National Western, they are shown in both regional and state shows, as well as shows in Arizona and Missouri.
“All the national shows are big, but National Western is the biggest,” she said.
Goodnow was also a grand champion. She got hers in the junior market goat lightweight division. It was her fifth year at the event.
While she enjoys competing, she said part of the fun is teaching those attending about animals.
“It’s just really cool because you get to teach the people there so much,” she said. “They’re not used to that.
“People come up (saying) ‘I like your sheep,’ and you’re like ‘No, this is actually a goat.’ It’s just really fun.”
She and her sister, Alexi, both showed animals including goats and lambs.
The animals used in the competition are new each year and each has a distinct personality.
In the training process, she said, you learn to look for signs that the animal is going to make some sort of movement to help prevent a problem during showing.
She said the main lesson she’s learned is that hard work outside the shows pays off.
“You have to work really hard at home and then when you go to the show, you’ll feel a lot more prepared,” Goodnow said.
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