BRITT – While bucket bottle calf exhibits have long been a tradition at many county fairs in Iowa, the Hancock County District Fair has taken junior exhibition one step farther.
This year, the fair included a bucket bottle goat and lamb event, giving even more young exhibitors the opportunity to try their hand with different animals.
Divided up by age groups, the exhibitors led their animals across the show arena to spots designated for them.
While no ribbons were given for this show, the young exhibitors gained valuable experience of leading an animal in a show arena as well as answering questions from the judges.
Among the questions asked included the names of the animals, with lambs ranging in names from Marshmallow to Wilson. There was even a Taylor Swift and Dinosaur in one group, which exhibitor, Kylee Hejlik, said had come from her brother.
“I like Scooby Doo, said exhibitor, Elsie Hollatz. “So my lamb’s name is Scooby.”
Rocky proved to be a popular name in the lamb classes, with two lambs bearing the name, with owners being Mahlynn Olson and Wyndham Pergande.
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In addition to the names of their animals, exhibitors were also asked how often they walked their animals and if they were the ones to walk their animals or if the animals were walking them.
“My lamb is named Rocky, because he likes walking on the rocks and so do I,” said exhibitor Mahlynn Olson.
Judges also asked exhibitors how often they played with their sheep and what their favorite things were about them. Answers ranged from “because their fluffy,” to “because I love brushing her.”
In addition, judges asked some of the exhibitors how their animals were at getting set up properly in the show ring and if it was something they had begun to work on yet. Many in the 7-9 year old class said that was something they had been working.
Some of the exhibitors drew praise from the judge for how calm their animals were in the ring and how steady they stayed or how easily it was to lead, a sign of how much time the exhibitor had spent getting their animals ready.
The time aspect was something the judge encouraged the exhibitors to work on, explaining it would not only help their animals do better in the show ring, but also grow the exhibitors confidence in working with them in the hope they would return year after year to the show ring.