Panhandle pair take goat showman honors at Jefferson Co. Fair

August 24, 2010|By RICHARD F. BELISLE
  • Justin Pickett, 19, of Summit Point, W.Va., was a blue ribbon winner with his boer goat Billy Joe at the 2010 Jefferson County (W.Va.) Fair on Tuesday.
By Richard Belisle,

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- In the last 10 years, Justin Pickett has "won more blue ribbons than I can count," first showing lambs then "progressing" to goats.

Pickett, 19, of Summit Point, W.Va., on Tuesday added another blue ribbon to his collection at the 2010 Jefferson County Fair. His Boer goat, "Billy Joe," took first place as grand senior showman in the fairgrounds show ring.

He's been showing goats for five years.

Pickett moved from Clarke County, Va., to Summit Point in April.

"I did well in Clarke County, too," he said.

Christa Knock, also 19, of Kearneysville, W.Va., entered her Boer goat, "P.B.," for Peanut Butter, in the senior showman contest and took the red ribbon.

This is Knock's second year in the goat show ring. Rules dictate that contestants up to the age of 21 can compete.

"I still have two years to go," she said.

Robert Dismore, 35, of Frederick, Md., a certified Boer goat judge, kept his sharp eyes and knowing hands on 140 goats during Tuesday's competition.


He begins at the nuzzle, works his way down the end of the line, then works back up the other side with his hands running along the animals' backs and sides before asking the handlers to walk around the ring for a second look.

Dismore watches how the handlers keep their sometimes unruly animals in check, make them stand, even how they keep their eyes on him during the judging in case he wants to pull an animal out of line for a closer look.

He said he checks a goat's body structure to envision how it will look as a carcass with no hide and determine how suitable for sale it will be in the market.

Boer goats make good projects for 4-H and FFA members, Dismore said.

"They are low-maintenance, inexpensive to raise and unlike milk goats, they don't have to be milked every day."

Boer goats are generally recognizable because of their white bodies and brown heads.

Dismore joined the Kentucky University livestock judging team while a student there. He later earned his certification from the American Boer Goat Association.

He raises sheep at home in Frederick County and works in the family farm-equipment business.

Dismore said summers keep him busy with judging duties. Earlier this month, he judged at the West Virginia State Fair near Lewisburg, W.Va.

Showman class winners are determined by how their goats are handled by the young owners and how well they are "fitted" or groomed, cleaned and clipped, said Barbara Welty, the meat goat supervisor for the fair.

She began in the ring herself in 1965 showing dairy cows. Her children began to show animals in 1985 and on Tuesday, Welty's grandson and granddaughter showed goats, she said.

If you go...

What: The annual Jefferson County Fair

When: Continued through Saturday

Where: Jefferson County Fairgrounds, Old Leetown Pike, Kearneysville, W.Va.,

Costs: $5 for ages 16 and older, $3 for ages 6 to 15, free for ages 5 and younger.


  • Noon to 2 p.m.: Ruritan roast beef lunch special

  • 3 p.m.: Dairy cattle judging

  • 6 p.m.: Carnival area open to public (tonight is family night)

  • 7:30 p.m.: Cazhmiere

  • 7:45 p.m.: Texting contest

  • 8 p.m.: Pie-eating, ice cream-eating, milk-drinking and hay bale-tossing contests in the show barn

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