Today, I am headed to Denver for the National Western Stock Show, which marks the first “major” of the winter season. The anticipation of the upcoming shows and the chance to have a champion is a feeling all of us passionate about the show industry share. One thing I love, and maybe love the very most, about this program is the aspect of doing it together as a family. I think that the families that do it together would agree, each member has their role, and even though these roles are probably different between every family, the one consistency is that the role of the child/exhibitor is to get your animal shown to the very best of his/her ability. This comes down to showmanship which is another aspect that I am most definitely passionate about. The most important job of the showman is to get noticed, show the best views of the animal and have ultimate control of their pig at all times. Here’s a few quick tips to getting noticed and seen more positively by the judge…
First impression is EVERYTHING!
– Pay attention in the make up ring. Most of the time judges will look over into the holding pen before the class to survey some that are coming next. Make sure your pig looks good, you look ready and make eye contact then and communicate that you care and want to show.
– Hold back a few steps from the entrance gate so that the first time the pig steps in the ring, he/she is walking, head up and looking its best.
– Make confident eye contact, communicating that you know you have the best one.
– The same above applies when you are in placing pens and going to show again.
Ring Presence is KEY!!
– Be Confident
– Normal, comfortable posture
– Aggressive, but do not overwork or attract too much attention
Proper Appearance is ESSENTIAL! (you and the pig)
– Keep your pig clean at all times but especially when he/she enters the ring.
– Have your pig wet down thoroughly.
– Wear proper show clothes – jeans, shirt tucked in, nothing distracting, no loud colors are needed.
– Guys-no caps, girls-hair pulled back and minimal jewelry
**Last point regarding being noticed
Remember that the show starts when you show up to the fairgrounds and isn’t over until you leave. Your attitude in the barn and the ring are seen and remembered by the judge, breeders, parents and other exhibitors. There is always a younger or less experienced exhibitor watching you in the barn and in the ring. BE A ROLE MODEL….believe me, it will go a long way.
As an exhibitor, there’s nothing better than being the best showman in the ring and to get noticed.
As a parent, there’s nothing better than witnessing this.
As a judge, you want to use these great showman.
As a breeder, there’s nothing we want more than these families to be feeding ours.
Good luck to all exhibitor’s this winter – be safe, have fun, and may God bless you and your family!