COLUMBIA — It was time for a trim, and Junior was ready.
“It’s like when a child gets his first haircut, and the parents have to hold the child’s head still,” Mike Glascock said as his daughter, Ashton, worked the electric shaver on her goat.
Junior was quiet and still, mostly due to the trimming stand that kept him in place as she used the quarter-inch blades to shear him down to a buzz cut.
Kirsten Sapp was at her side, guiding her to trim more off at the belly and between Junior’s toes. Their neighbor, Courtney Branch, was quick to note from her nearby lawn chair that the hair on Junior’s tail was nicked.
The girls, all members of the Englewood Hustlers 4-H club, worked together to get the goats ready.
After a bit of fine-tuning on his coat, a quick sanding on the horns and a coat of Vaseline to turn them black, Junior was ready for the 6 p.m. market goat show at the Boone County Fair on Monday.
Kirsten had finished prepping her goat, Festus, earlier.
“We are cutting him down to make his muscle pop and make him look just fatter, which is what the judges look for,” Kirsten said.
For meat shows, goats are led around the judging ring by their owner, lined up head to tail in a row and examined by the judge. Kirsten said some judges consider body length and others look for muscle.
Kirsten and Festus have experience in goat shows. Festus was champion at the Prairie Home and Hallsville shows.
Getting a goat ready for the show is a process that the 4-H students undertake themselves. It started when the girls bought the goats as 1- and 2-month-old kids and continued up to the day of the competition.
Kirsten walked Festus two miles a day since she bought him as a 1-month-old in January. The walks and jumping on the spools in his pen helped “keep him in good shape, like you would a person,” she said.
Ashton’s father looked on but left the work up to his daughter. His farm in Ashland had no goats until his daughter decided to take on Junior as her 4-H club project.
“The older kids teach them how to do all of this stuff. That’s what it’s all about,” Glascock said.
“Most of us have been showing together since we were 8,” Kirsten said.
Courtney was there to help but wrinkled her nose when asked if she liked goats. “They’re ugly and stupid,” she said. Instead, she raises and shows steers.
Ashton’s father wasn’t too pleased when his daughter wanted to have a goat for her 4-H project and would rather have had her work with cattle, but he said she’s too small.
“There have been some trying days, with getting the goat to rope lead,” he said.
Ashton ran into a bit of a problem last Friday when she tried to practice walking her goat for the show. Junior flipped her over, gashing her head on the ground.
“It looked like Carl Edwards doing a back-flip off his car, except she didn’t land on her feet,” Glascock said.