You can’t win ’em all! Just ask Notre Dame, there is always somebody waiting to beat you. Every successful show program needs to have a goal–is it just a project, make the sale at district, at a major, win the county, district or a major. There has to be a set of goals to work towards. Before I agree to help a family, I need to know their goals. I cringe every time I hear “We want to win ’em all.” It can’t be done. Why?
In order to win a major, it takes KNOWLEDGE, WORK ETHIC, MONEY and LUCK. The showman and somebody helping them (parent, ag teacher, breeder, etc) must have knowledge of genetics, nutrition, showmanship and what kind of animal the judge prefers. Work ethic is a huge priority. It takes some money in order to buy a good one, travel expenses, provide workable facilities, equipment, feed, etc. And sometimes it just takes some luck.
There is an outstanding retired show family in Oklahoma that tried to win them all. They did win OYE (twice), Tulsa, Denver, Kansas City, State Fair, Lone Star Elite. They had the best goat show career in OK and won all of the big ones, but they didn’t do it all in a row. Why? 1–It can’t be done. They had plenty of knowledge, tons of work ethic and spent money where it was needed. And 2– there was other people with the same goals,knowledge, money, work ethic and 3–sometimes a judge has a bad day or just plain old had his head up his rear and couldn’t judge properly. And there is always a chance for politics. Which brings in the luck factor.
Sometimes, an animal gets sick, gets hurt or just flat out doesn’t turn out. Sometimes, Lady Luck came to the tables with someone else.
Take last year for example, Duke had a Gallagher goat named Spasm. This goat was reserve grand at the state fair, Bronze wether at OYE, Grand at Enid District, and Grand at Major county. This was a pretty nice run for one goat and a 5th grade boy. He was shown one other time and he was 4th out of 4 at the local. It doesn’t matter how good they are, if you want them beat, then take them to a local show. I’m not saying the judge was wrong, our family was fine with it. Sometimes, it just isn’t going to happen.
Set realistic goals. Goals that are attainable for your family, your pocketbook and the time you have to spend with the animals. Work towards those goals. If you attain them, then set higher goals the next year.