The Redwood Empire Dairy Goat Assn or REDGA puts on a two day show every year over memorial day weekend and it is one of the best shows of the year for several reasons.
First, nationally known breeders bring their animals out for a spectacular show. Last year the judge was so moved by the champion Saanen line-up, she actually got choked up over the mic. The quality of animals brought to this show is really impressive. When you choose animals to go you really have your “REDGA” quality animals and the rest of the herd.
Secondly their junior show is done “four ring circus” style so that you get to let other people help and you get to help other people show their goats. There is nothing quite like being handed an animal to make it look good only to have it move up 4 or 5 places. The second most important thing about showmanship is to feel comfortable and look confident. The best way to do that is to practice, practice, practice, and there is no better place to practice than in lots of breed classes all at once. It really makes you feel more comfortable about being in the show ring. It reminds you that the show ring is not some scary place, but a place to show off the animals you have. We love having 4Her come out and try their hand at showing.
Finally they do an amazing job of recognizing the youth exibitors. As someone who came up through the 4H program and is now a 4H leader, I think it is so important to recognize those exhibitors. On both Saturday and Sunday they have 1 ring which recognizes the best youth owned doe in show. They also give the kids shirts and make sure to have fun activities (like a costume contest) that adults may not enjoy but that the younger exhibitors really get excited about. Many of the exibitors only know a few other people who raise goats – so it is shows like these which get the kids interacting to really make friendship of people with mutual interests.
This year our breed placings were both exciting and pleasing. The big star was Keegan, who, at less than 2 weeks fresh won Reserve Grand Champion in the Togg specialty ring. We were so excited!!!! We also got to see her mother who looked beautiful at 10 years old and still milking! Argentina received a second Reserve Grand Champion award and all the other kids stood near the tops of their classes. The unfortunate thing about the “4 ring circus” is that if you are showing more than one breed – you often miss that is going on in one of your other breeds. I was monitoring the Lamancha and grade show (making sure the right kids took the right kids into the ring) and didn’t get to see the Saanen show at all – I guess that is what next year is for!!