Boones show together
While both raise goats for the fair, usually Rylee and Brody Boone find themselves in different weight classes. This year, however, they stood in the show ring together.
Goats in the Jackson County Youth Fair are separated into three weight classes, and this year the Boone kids both wound up with lightweight goats.
Even so, they were very different animals. Rylee’s goat was taller and more long-legged, while Brody’s was stockier and more muscular.
“You never know what the judge is going to be looking for,” said their father, Rick Boone.
Since receiving their goats in May, the siblings have been working with the animals to make sure they are in the best physical shape possible and trained for the ring. The competition gets tougher every year, with more and more exhibitors entering, so anyone who wants to really compete must work for it.
The animals need to be fed twice a day and offered hay midday. They need to be tamed, trained, and groomed. Exercise is important to keep them in top shape. Trimmed hooves and haircuts are essential for making an impression on the judges. Kids who show also need to know how to set their own bodies up so their goat can lean into them, showing off their muscle tone to the judge.
Rylee’s 2023 goat was a little more spirited than her brother’s, but much better behaved than last year’s animal, who got startled in the ring and caused a bit of a fuss.
“Somebody screamed, and then my goat got scared,” she said., “And then he just started running and I didn’t get control of him, so I got dragged. I still have a scar.”
This year, the goat she called Fred was calmer, but definitely still had a mind of his own. When it mattered, though, Rylee controlled him well and he behaved for the judge.
As for Brody, his animal was less excitable.
“My goat’s name was Little Bit, and he was more tame than Rylee’s,” he said.
In the end, the Boones both placed in the top five. Rylee received third and Brody got fifth, in a group of 34 total animals. They also took home important lessons.
Brody said the most important lesson is learning to not get too worked up.
“Being calm,” he said. “Because sometimes I can get overwhelmed and get mad if he’s not doing the right thing. It just, like, teaches me how to not be angry and have more patience.”
As for Rylee, she learned how her own actions and attitude can affect others.
“If you get angry the goat will get mad and jump at you,” she said. So you don’t want to get your stress out at other people because then they’ll get mad at you.”
Both Boones attend Edna ISD and plan to show goats again next year. Brody is working on his showmanship in hopes of earning that buckle in 2024.