XENIA — This year was Nathan Russell’s first year showing a lamb at the Greene County Fair. Russell, 14, of Xenia, has been in 4-H for six years and has shown other animals before, but this year he decided to expand his fair offerings. Once he and his brother decided to show lambs, they learned the techniques from a family friend.
“She showed us how to walk them around the ring and how to set up their legs so that they’re square,” Russell said. “She showed us how to make the lambs push against you and brace which really makes their muscles show and pop out. She just showed us how to move it around, how to look at the judge, how to keep that contact with the judge, where to set the legs, how to set the legs, how to keep the lamb bracing while the judge is looking at the lamb.”
All those tips paid off, because Nathan finished second in showmanship with his lamb. But even with that kind of finish, his fair experience was left a little incomplete when his lamb was disqualified from auction sale.
His lamb wasn’t allowed to be shown for sale because of a substance used to treat a bad limp the lamb had. The substance was considered a performance enhancing drug, thus disqualifying the lamb from sale.
Russell was still allowed to show the lamb for showmanship, because that competition focuses more on the competitor’s ability to show the lamb than the lamb’s auction characteristics.
“I was a little pissed off that I wasn’t able to show it [for auction],” Russell said. “But hey, second place showmanship my first year is not too bad.”
The disqualification was a lesson learned for Russell. You can bet he’ll be back next year, ready to show again.
Nathan Pilling is a reporter who covers Greene County organizations and agencies. He can be found on Twitter at @natepilling.