The Routt County Fair, my home away from home. Every year, I go for a week, and to be honest, it’s one of the best weeks of the year. It’s not just about going there and showing my animals; it’s about every minute of it.
One of the busiest days at fair is Saturday. You rarely sit down, if ever. It all starts off bright and early at about 7 a.m. You go to the barn and the hustle and bustle is just getting started. The round robin is the first stop on the schedule. The round robin is a set of five shows. You show pig, steer, sheep, goat and horse in the large-animal round robin and chicken, dog, rabbit and llama in the small-animal round robin. For every different animal, you participate in a showmanship class. To qualify for the round robin, you must get a reserve grand champion or a grand champion in one breed of animal. Last year, I won the large-animal round robin, but even if you don’t win, it’s a great experience to learn from.
After that, there is a gymkhana. Gymkhana is an event where you run barrels, poles and stakes. These are timed events, so you go as fast as you possibly can. That is really fun, especially if you want a rush of adrenaline. After gymkhana, it’s already time for the barbecue. Every 4-H member is required to work at least half an hour at the barbecue, but for some reason, you don’t get bored working.
By now, you’re thinking to yourself, “Where did my life go? I still have to touch up my animal, get myself ready, eat dinner, make sure my pen is nice and tidy, feed my animals and somehow make it to the show ring on time.”
Then it finally comes — the big finale. The livestock sale. Once things start to pick up, the bleachers fill up, and all eyes are on the one in the show ring. It feels like you just got in there when the auctioneer slams his gavel down and your animal has been sold. After you are out of the show ring, you have to think fast because it’s picture time. Smile big! After I take my pictures, I shake the hand of my buyer and thoroughly thank them.
Now that your day is over, you go don’t go to sleep, you go dance. There is a great band and lots of time to have fun with friends. It’s amazing what just one day can hold. Now that you have a picture of what just this one day at the fair looks like, I would like each and every one of you to join my and my fellow 4-Hers at the Routt County Fair Barbecue and Junior Livestock Sale on Aug. 18 for an awesome dinner and a great sale.
Oh, and by the way, when you buy an animal from the sale you aren’t buying a real animal; you are buying a good, home-raised cut of meat. It’s some of the best meat out there. If you don’t want to bid on an animal, come find a kid like me with a private treaty animal to sell. We would love to talk to you! There is a list on the back wall that has names. I hope to see you there.