Moffat County Fair closes with cuteness |

Moffat County Fair closes with cuteness

Andy Bockelman
The competitors of the sheep lead contest smile with their four-legged companions Saturday at the Moffat County Fair. The contest displayed the use of wool, as well as some costumes for the accompanying sheep.
Andy Bockelman

They work hard all year and get their game faces on during the rest of the week, but when it comes to the final days the patrons of the Moffat County Fair just want to have a little fun.

The laidback finale of the 97th annual agricultural event overtook the fairgrounds Saturday with plenty for all ages to see and do, from lawnmower races and tractor pulls to stuffing their faces in a watermelon-eating contest to watching a sheep in a necktie.

Yes, you read that right.

The sheep lead contest in the livestock barn featured several young competitors displaying the use of wool in creative, fashionable ways, as well as parading around sheep companions in costume.

Lorrae Moon of Yampa Valley Fiberworks emceed the show, which was also sponsored by NAPA Auto Parts, Tri-State Equipment, Old West Hunting and Fishing and Winter’s Blessings Soap.

The exhibition is one that has gone away in previous years, and Moon is glad to see it return as an educational example of what becomes of the fleece sheared off ovine charges.

“Just the prospect is great of the kids learning about the whole industry, not just that there’s wool and it goes someplace,” she said. “It’s fun listening to them talk about how they contributed to their outfits or upcycled something. They’re learning that wool is a very sustainable, natural wearable product.”

The cavalcade of cuteness was hard to miss with Puppy Palooza on one side of the fairgrounds and on the other the Cowboy Baby Contest.

The annual pageant put on by Moffat County Cattlewomen had 20 toddlers decked out in Western wear aged from one newborns to 4 years old, all receiving a special prize and title.

Rainy May Staker was half asleep when her mother, Jessie, carried her through the staging area, though the three-month-old still was named “Moffat County Princess.”

Jessie said she came up with her baby’s name in April and by the time she was born the following month, the name was practically a forecast.

“The day she was born it poured, I think it was the wettest day in May,” she laughed.

The proud mother said she wanted to expose her daughter to 4-H activities as early as possible.

“We’ve got a lot of dogs at home, so she’ll probably be doing the dog show when she gets older,” she said.

Another child in the contest has already gotten his fair share of experience in the ranching business. Ryker Murr was named “Daddy’s Little Pig Farmer” in reference to the prize pigs of his father, Rick.

The fact that the infant toted around a plush porker also helped.

Though his mom, Stephanie, had her favorite, the sight of all the babies in the contest was a pleasing one.

“It’s a good way to end the fair,” she said.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or

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