Judging a Goat Show

Don't you just love surprises?

As soon as I arrived at the remote site of Arapal nestled in the hills of the island of Cebu, I was informed that I would be judging a goat show put on by local children who were part of a special program. First, I had extremely limited experience in goats until just a few hours before my arrival. Second, I did not have any clue how this would happen. So I did what any normal person would do. I accepted the offer with a smile.

I had seen some livestock shows in the past, but always as a bystander. How the judges figured out which goat, cow, or pig was the best did not make sense to me. Being a judge for any competition can be tough, but it gets more difficult when you are judging something that you barely know.

When it was time for the show to begin, the kids brought their goats just outside of the judging area and waited for their number to be called. When it was there turn, they would walk the goat around the area much like a Miss America contestant vying for the crown.

Then came the hard part. I had to pick which one was the best out of all ten that were entered. I do not know if this was intentional or not, but most of the contestants showed off cute baby goats. How am I suppose to pick a winner when they all are uncoordinated and adorable?

My final choice may not have been the best on a technical aspect, but he was the shiniest, most playful goat of the bunch.

Bryan Clifton

Oklahoma City, OK