Exhibitors display training, relationships with goats

The Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo proved to be a valuable time (and cute) for both the goats and attendees.

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Cattle shows at the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo take a lot of commitment and awareness.

But, when you change the animal, to say a goat, who many will say that’s at least a little different, there’s some difficulties, but also fun times.

“There’s really nothing like experiencing working with a goat, they have such fun personalities,” said Jana Stearns, an Exhibitor from Hot Springs.

Goats are what some would call interesting, to say the least.

“They’re like little kids,” said Echo Bartels, an Exhibitor from Grand Junction, Colorado. “And they’re just fun creatures to be around.”

And for those that handle them, they’re even more unique, especially in their spare time.

“You can love up on ’em more and they always do cool things in the barn that make you laugh,” Stearns said.

Exhibitors are tasked with working with them on a different level.

Despite their goats’ quirks, they can also make for a fun show animal. In fact, some think there are certain goats that are made for it.

“They’ll come up to you in their pens, and then when you ask them to stick- to get drove up or brace up, they just, they want to do it and they just don’t want to do anything else but be a show goat,” Bartels said.

However, in that ring, the cuteness seems to go away, but only for that time. But the relationship still finds its way into the competition.

“I’m sure most of them work two to three times a day with their animal to get him ready for the show to be able to come out here and walk and be able to cooperate like these kids are doing right here. It takes a lot,” said Bronson Smith, a Goat Judge. “I mean, there’s a lot of hours put into it. The more you work with the animal, the better they’re going to work with you on show day. The better they’re going to look.”

In the end, that confidence and work is worth it.

“When you hold their head higher and they’re actually working with you, it shows that you have built a relationship with them and you’ve demonstrated that you trust them and they trust you,” Stearns said.

Categories: ConnectCenter1-Ag, ConnectCenter1-Events, ConnectCenter1-Family, Local News, South Dakota News, Stock Show and Rodeo