Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Fair Week Again.

I can't believe the fair has already come and gone. It doesn't seem like a whole year has passed since last years. CRAZY.
This year Mercedes was old enough to show an animal in the fair. She chose to show a steer. That meant way back last October we had to pick one out and start feeding it. We put the halter on it for the first time Thanksgiving day and worked with him on and off through out the winter and spring. Come summer time he wasn't gaining as much weight as we would like so we put him in a stall with fans on him and really started working with him. Mercedes would usually get him out twice a day and walk him and then spray him off. She quickly realized that steers are a lot more work than pigs are. He was the best little steer for her. When we picked him out we just told the guy it was her first year and we wanted something small and gentle. That is what we got. Man I am getting all teary eyed writing this. It is bringing back memories. They just both did so good.
Josie chose a pig again. When we went to pick her's out she chose a little white one because of her pig last year and a black belted one. They were both on the small size and I really wasn't looking forward to pushing one again. I had seen a really cool looking pig and I kept saying to her that I thought she should get him. Finally the guy we get them from said why not get three. So we did. It turned out that that third one is the one she showed. I swear what ever his genetics are they should use them more. That pig could gain weight on air. For two months before the fair we had to hold him back. The week before I was getting a little concerned thinking he was finally showing that we were holding him. He hit his prime a whole month before the fair. Pigs are really hard to get them to that ideal weight. One of these years we might reach it.
This year there were 205 pigs entered. Josie won her class and got to go back in for the grand champion class. They had 20 pigs in there that had all got star choice ribbons. She ended up 16. That was great for us considering he almost was too big to even be there.
Last year we were so busy every day of the fair. This year we were really busy too, just doing different things. I didn't go to the speed events, bulls broncs and barrels, the parade, the horse show, any concerts, or most of the booths. We did show a pig and a steer on the same day. STRESSFUL. They both showed in the fitting and showmanship. The steers were a seperate day which means getting the steer ready another time. Selling the animals, which means getting them both ready again. I was a little nerved having two different kinds of animals, but it was a lot of fun and I didn't have any meldowns like last year. Yea for me.
The worst part is selling them and then leaving on Saturday night. I balled like a blubbering fool in front of a couple of people. Including the guy in the yellow shirt down below. My kids never saw me cry though. They both cried that night too. It was heartbreaching. J.C. even had to pick Mercedes up and carry her away from Bucky when it was time to go. Oh I can feel the tears welling up right now. I'll have that picture in my mind for a long time now. It is crazy that after all of that we will probably go through it all again next year.
Ok this is long so I am going to end it here. The end.

Mercedes and Bucky

These pictues really make me so sad that we had to sell the animals after. This is Mercedes and Bucky a few days before the fair. He is all clipped up, just not really washed this morning.My heart was thumping so hard here. They are coming in and I was hoping he would be good for her and she wouldn't get trampled by him or another steer. I don't have to worry about these things so much with the pigs.
Lining him up and getting him squared. Notice in these pictures the guy in the yellow. He was in there to help if the kids steers got a little out of control. He stayed pretty close to Mercedes. I thanked him later.

She ended up fourth in her class and got a blue ribbon. I was so happy. First that she showed him good. Even though Bucky did get a little frisky a couple of times. Second that the judge liked him. There were 90 steers and 4 were red, 1 was white, and 1 was tan. The rest were black. Because he was red I didn't think he would do so good, but the judge only had good things to say about him.

Josie and Gumdrop

I took this picture of the two of them a couple of days before the fair. I used this picture on the board hanging above his pen.This is them in the fitting and showing class. Josie didn't win anything, but she did a ton better than last year. That means she is learning something right?
Here they are in the grand champion class. The pig to the left of them is the pig that eventually won grand champion. I liked this pig the first time I saw it too. It was some pig.
And here they are showing in their class. It was the fatty class. We had to put Gumdrop on a diet before the show so he would make weight. Wednesday when we weighed him he was 284 lbs. The top is 290 lbs. which he was the week before. He won his class hands down. That's what the judge said anyways. That made us all so happy because we worked with him hard. For 2 months before we had to really watch what we fed him and get him out twice a day to exercise him. I was so proud of Josie and how hard she worked this year.