Goats test mettle on obstacle course | TheUnion.com

Goats test mettle on obstacle course

Know & Go

Through Aug. 16

Hours: Fair open from 10 a.m.-11 p.m.

Exhibit buildings open 10 a.m.-10 p.m. (Sunday until 9)

Carnival opens 11 a.m. daily

Location: Nevada County Fairgrounds, 11228 McCourtney Road, Grass Valley

Parking: $6 per car

Free shuttle from Nevada Union High School from 8:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m.

Tickets: Adults $9, seniors $6, children (6-12) $4; Carnival bracelet for unlimited rides any one day: $28; Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.NevadaCountyFair.com

Special Discount Days

Friday: Day for People with Disabilities (Disabled persons and one guest get in for free from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.)

Saturday: Salute to our Armed Services Day (All active duty and retired military who show ID get free admission)

Sunday: Community Day: All fair-goers can purchase admission for $5 until 5 p.m.

Nevada County Fairgoers on Thursday got the chance to see some very small goats doing some very impressive things. The pygmy goat obstacle course was a crowd favorite at this year’s fair, with dozens of people gathering around to watch the goats perform.

Goats of all shapes and sizes competed on the small obstacle course in the goat show tent, testing their skill against a series of blockades, including a teeter-totter.

Many of the goats had considerable difficulty with the step-up obstacle, which required them to step from a plank on the ground up to a much higher plank.

The crowd gathered around the tent delighted in the goats’ performances on the teeter-totter, with some of the animals deciding to exit just a little early from the ramp, jumping off the side — in many cases quite spectacularly.

Each contestant and their goat were scored with a point system based on how well their goat managed the course. All participants received a bag of candy.

Taylor Browning and her pygmy goat Ladybug had an impressive run on the day.

Six-year-old Browning has been participating in 4-H, working with goats for two years, competing in the obstacle course challenge for the second year in a row with Ladybug. Browning sported her 4-H kerchief with pride during the event.

Browning says her favorite part of working with Ladybug has been showing her for the judges at the fair. This year, Browning and Ladybug earned top honors in the showmanship category, as the girl and goat duo brought home the reserve champion award.

“I got two big ribbons, the reserve champions ribbons,” said Browning, who added she was proud of Ladybug.

Bree Barnickol, 17, and her goat Quantum also found success on the obstacle course. Quantum, who was born on Barnickol’s ranch nine months ago, was one of the few goats to successfully master the step-up obstacle.

Barnickol is a veteran of the competition, and although Quantum was a rookie this year, he handled the course with relative ease compared with many of his compatriots, moving fluidly through the slalom-style poles, steps and plank obstacles set up around the ring.

“He did pretty well, better than I expected,” said Barnickol.

Barnickol is no stranger to this competition — she has been raising goats since she was just 5 years old.

In addition to competing in the day’s event, Barnickol also entered Quantum into the auction scheduled for the end of the fair on Sunday.

Her favorite part of the goat-raising process?

“Finishing your project and selling it in the auction would be mine,” said Barnickol.

Kael Newton is a journalism student at the University of Oregon interning with The Union; he can be reached at NCPCIntern@theunion.com.

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