Written by Susan Miller on Friday September 21, 2012
Like most people who go to the state fair, when I take a pass through the animal exhibits I peer into the pens and smile at cute little goats. I wrinkle my nose up at the smell of cow patties and exclaim over the gorgeous horses. Then it’s off to find a funnel cake, but this year I gave the animals at the fair more than a cursory nod. Gallery videographer Ryan Lorg and I literally spent hours with them shooting footage for our November program.
We shot video of kids with cows, grown women with goats and corporations with Clydesdales. Holy Heifer, the man hours that go into getting a team of Clydesdales ready to show is staggering. We followed the Express Clydesdales as they were buffed and polished to compete in the North American Draft Horse competition. Only 12 teams from throughout North America qualified to compete and Express Clydesdales of Yukon was one of them. We spent 6 hours with the team on their first day to compete. In a word, “Impressive”.
As Ryan and I headed back to the station after that shoot Ryan opined that it was funny that we actually spent more time shooting pygmy goats earlier in the week than we did the huge Clydesdales. Adorable pygmy goats and their proud owners, 99% female, descended upon the Oklahoma State Fair this year for the National Pygmy Goat Association’s Annual show. Once again, these were the best of the best and again, we spent hours watching the goats get prepped and then judged. It was during these hours that I learned what the urine from a male goat smells like and that he puts it on his beard to attract females. I don’t like the scent at all, but then again…I’m human.
Finally, what most folks think about when they think of animals at the fair…kids, you know, 4-H and the Future Farmers of America? The state fair is their turf! This is where young people who’ve spent months raising an animal, feeding it, training it and bathing it come to see if they have what it takes to raise a great, oh, let’s say…dairy cow. Once again we randomly selected two young people to follow. I say randomly, but in truth, we arrived 2 hours before the Dairy Showmanship Competition expecting to see a flurry of activity, but only two teens were busy buffing their bovine beauties when we arrived. The rest had done their work the day before, so we followed these two teens through the very end of their competition. No, I won’t tell you how they or any of the others fared at the fair. You’ll just have to watch these “Stock Stars” in action on Gallery in November to find out.