Baaaa-ck in the day, people with disabilities were rarely showing animals at the fair. Now, it’s becoming a tradition at the Highland County Fair.
Last Thursday, children and adults participated in A Day in the Ring, an open goat show supported by the Junior Fair Board, the Highland County Board of Developmental Disabilities, First State Bank and Ohio State University Extension Services.
The eight participants, in blazing blue event T-shirts, met with a junior fair board member at 8 a.m. to meet their show goat and to make friends with their helper. Together, they went to the show ring to walk the goats around, set them up and answer questions from the judge.
Jo Heather Arnett, the local goat judge, greeted the participants with smiles and handshakes. She watched the animals being escorted around the ring and then she asked questions to each one showing.
“Does your goat have a name? Is your goat a good goat or a bad goat?” were a couple of the questions Arnett asked. As she spent time with each exhibitor, one goat decided to climb on a wheelchair that was beside it. Another nibbled at the hair of a young lady bending over to adjust its legs. There were no giggles at this point in the show, as they were all taking the judging very serious… well, everyone except the mischievous goat.
She ended the rounds of judging with high-fives and the 2019 Highland County Junior Fair Board queen’s court passed out purple ribbons to each showman.
The sponsors and families agreed that next year, they will continue this great day of opportunity, try to recruit earlier in the year and to increase the number of participants.
Submitted by Stacy Hazelton, PR specialist, Highland County Board of DD.