Kaitlin and Emily joined the livestock judging team for Harris County 4H... Saturday was their first event. We got up at the very dark hour of 5:45 and headed out to get to the Farm and Ranch Club across town where the fair was held. The girls got their shirts...
We signed in and waited...
and then we waited some more.. there were so many kids there! The girls were put in teams for the Harris County with 3/4 people per team. There were 8 groups (a-h) that had at least 25 kids each maybe more... so there were at least 200 kids participating this fine morning!
I was asked to lead a group-- meaning I walked around group C- hence my sign below...
and led them from class (group of animals) to class.
This amazing duty also included my keeping cows in line... really not my forte! But I managed.
There were 7 classes and one holding area. We stayed at each class for 12 minutes with 3 minutes to get to the next class and in place.. So for 1 hour and 45 minutes I proudly held my sign.... :0).
The kids are NOT allowed to talk!
(So I KNOW Emily did not talk or bounce around for at least 1 hour and 45 minutes!)
The kids get to the class and turn their backs on the animals.. the judge calls time and the kids can turn around and start observing the animals looks for different things: balance, muscle, cuttability (fat), hips, legs, stance, alignment or sway of back and other things...
For goats and lambs they were allowed to actually touch the animals... Emily's favorite part!
But with swine and steer it was eyes only.
After all the classes have been judged the group turned in their scan tron (yes, I had to teach the girls about filling in the circles!) and were released. After a few minutes they called for qualifiers.. which is when they talk about how the official judge ruled... They give the judges number (which you compare to your own-- because you keep notes other than your scan tron) and cut (which is how you tally your score if you do not have the same numbers as the judge)... they also explain why they choose certain animals and made certain decisions...
The animals are lined up and you judge from left to right..
So it is 1,2,3 and 4
On your sheet you put them in order for instance if you think number 3 is best, 2 is second best, 1 is third and 4 is last your paper would look like this..
3 2 1 4
If a judge scored 3214 than you scored 50 and take no cuts..
If you switched two numbers like this
than you have a switch and have to take a cut...
IF you switch too many numbers like 4213 it would be a bust..
worth hardly any points at all.. TOO many cuts.
I know lots of information and still makes my head spin! :0) But I am learning!
Kaitlin out of 350 scored 309 and took 41 cuts.. She did really well for her very first event! Her team took 7th place in the Jr. division-- they can also win with individual scores also. After the qualifier you have the opportunity with your coach to go around (this is what they are doing in the picture above) to each class and learn where you went wrong-- see why the judge picked what etc. So she learned a lot about the mistakes she made...
Emily mostly loved being around all the animals! She did pretty well on her judging too...
On four classes she had scored between 50 (lambs she got right)-43, but she had three busts which took her score down under 250. We dont have a cut written down (because it is the one Kaitlin had all right with zero cuts) so we cannot tally her correct score.
All in all.. and I mean all 5 hours (plus two more hours driving back and forth) were great. The girls had a good time and I learned a lot! It is a long day but fun too.