Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Showtime

The past two weeks have been full of County Fair events. My sister’s kids participate in just about everything under the sun when it comes to 4-H.  I think they are starting to figure out that maybe they are doing to much.  Which is good but for this years fair it was another whirlwind event.  How my sister pulls it off I have no flippin clue. What I do know is these kids age before my eyes in the show ring. They showed at a small fair in a tiny rural town and then the bigger county fair the following week.

The Judge (red hat) talking to the kids in the pig tag-a-long class.  County Extension Agent in the lime green.  She was my agent and my other mom.  This woman has shaped the lives of so many kids I can't even begin to explain her impact.  She is amazing!

I think I like the rural fair even more because the focus is on the kids and there seems to be less pressure to win.  Maybe I'm wrong but that is the vibe I get.  Everything is also the same day so it's a busy day but then your done.  The county fair drags out for over a week if you count the horse show which starts the week prior.  A few things prevented me from attending all the events they participate in but I went to what I could.  I am happy to report I was there when my niece won Showmanship for her age group.  The best part was telling her afterwards that the older senior gal she had been watching intently had been watching HER show.


The middle, Cowgirl, my niece.
She won Grand Champion in Showmanship class and mastered smiling for the judge!
As the proud Aunt I show up and do what I can to help or what I’m allowed to-do. Things are in transition from the kids needing lots of help to being able to do it all on their own. It’s hard for this Aunty but that’s the goal of 4-H. So now I sit back and try to capture the process in photos.

Here are my favorite photos.

Savannah with 007 this is Cowgirl's milk goat I am hoping she will sell to me. 
Cowgirl is tired of milking and too busy with dance she is on a competitive team.

I just thought this pig was cute.
The kids don't show pigs, it's pretty much the only livestock project they are NOT in.

The youngest, Mr. Up-To-Something.

The oldest, a young CowPoke on his way to becoming a real Cowboy.

Sheep show, Cowgirl is trying hard to brace her lamb so his muscles are tense for the judge.

Mr. Up to Something with his market lamp.
Yep look at the stare and confidence.

What Cowpoke was really interested in. The young lady in the blue tank.

One of my favorite photos.
Cowgirl with her friends from 4-H camp.  These two are thick as thieves.

I love capturing her compassion and love for her animals.

Milk goat show, Cowgirl changed into whites since this is a Dairy class.

Time for the horse show.
Cowgirl with Budweiser her horse that used to be her Dad's horse.

Cowpoke with his horse Rascal.
This photo makes me super sad. This was their last show.
Rascal broke his back femur the following weekend in a freak accident at home.
Cowpoke and the Vet decided the best thing for Rascal was to let him go.

Mr. Up to Something and his pony Jo Jo.
This was Jo Jo's first show and he didn't behave to well.
He was sent to a trainer the following weekend because he didn't respect personal space.
Jo Jo also kicked Rascal which caused the initial injury. 

Just before going into the ring.  Cowgirl talks to Bud telling him they are going to rock this!
Probably my favorite photo!
There you have it another fair over and done with.  This year the kids only really needed me to hold stuff and drive the car to the next event.  I had fun talking with 4-H friends from back in the day.  Now they are 4-H Mom's with kids showing.  Full circle.