We caught up with goat showmanship judge Phil Myers before he steps “Inside the Ring” at the National Western Stock Show. We invite you to read our candid interview with Phil below and please continue to check back often for our next edition of “Inside the Ring – Showmanship Edition”
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What is the hardest to decide on, while judging showmanship?
I think the most challenging decisions arise when a goat or any animal starts to get squirrely on a showman who clearly knows what they’re doing. Seeing how the exhibitor reacts can benefit the showman sometimes but often not enough to get around another capable showman whose animal partner is behaving well that day. This is especially tricky in the young exhibitor classes where maybe the best showman has an animal that gets spooked versus another exhibitor who isn’t quite as intense or into what’s happening but their animal is perfectly compliant.
What do you think is the biggest struggle in the ring with this generation of showman?
I think the biggest struggle right now is getting showman into the ring, period. There are so many activities that pull youth and their families in different directions that it’s hard to do everything. A lot of those activities require or at least strongly encourage kids to specialize and focus solely on one thing way too early. Want to be an athlete? Not only do you have to focus just on athletics, but some coaches want you to also pick one sport and forget the others. The families that find a way to get to the showring are definitely making sacrifices to get there. I don’t know how, but I hope we find a way to bring back more balance to allow kids to be involved in showing, athletics, academics, and so many other activities that are vying for their attention.
Is it hard for you to judge wether showmanship vs doe showmanship? Or how do you feel about it?
I enjoy judging both forms of showmanship. I grew up showing sheep so I’ve always maintained that there are and should be significant differences in how you show breeding versus market animals. If you spend enough time evaluating them, there’s obvious similarities and differences, but if you’re going to really enjoy judging either one it’s the nuance within a style that makes it fun to judge. You can take a great market goat showman and stick them on a doe (or vice versa) and they’ll get along fine. But the really great showman within each style are in a tier of their own with how they operate and do the next level things that come from experience.
Flying or Driving?
Less than 10 hours, driving. More than 10 hours get me a plane ticket.
Halter or Chains?
Halter on the farm for the non-show animals, chain in the showring.
Favorite Sport Team?
The Ohio State University Buckeyes
Billionaire Philanthropist, but the good kind, not like the guy trying to buy all the farmland and jab everyone.