We caught up with goat showmanship judge Skylynn Fleming before she steps “Inside the Ring” at the Ohio State Fair. We invite you to read our candid interview with Skylynn below and please continue to check back often for our next edition of “Inside the Ring – Showmanship Edition”
Sponsored by Leggett’s You Gotta Believe Livestock Camps
In your opinion, What’s the most crucial thing to do in showmanship to succeed?
The most crucial way to succeed in any showmanship ring happens before you get to the fair. Those hours in the barn working with your animal learning their strengths and weaknesses allow you to use those qualities to your advantage. Make sure to find out what works for you and not everyone else!
How do you know when you have found your winner?
I have found my winner when the individual makes me forget I’m judging showmanship, what I mean by this is they are doing such a good job I can’t help looking at and evaluating the animal. If their animal starts moving around and acting up how are they handling it? Are they staying calm and collected or getting stressed. Those are they types of things I consider when I select my champion showman.
Is there anything you may do when it’s down to the last few showmen?
It depends on the setting, age, and experience levels of the showman. But if it gets very challenging I will try and throw them off in one way shape or form to see how those individuals are going to respond and react.
What do you look forward to most about your upcoming showmanship judging experience?
While being on this side of showmanship is much more challenging because the level of competition has really elevated. I have always appreciated that this is the one area of the show that you can control. It isn’t about the animal (how much it cost/where you get it from), it doesn’t depend on the type and kind the judges prefer. It is truly about the way you are able to present your animal and your ability to showcase all of the hard work you have put into your project through the entire season. I am excited to be able to reward the hard work these individuals have put into their animals!
Do you prefer kids that use a chain or a halter during showmanship? Does it matter to you?
While I don’t have a major preference I have recognized through the shows I have judged the individuals have better control over the animal and less issues when using a chain. However an exhibitor should keep utilizing what works best for them!