What is Showmanship?

A good showman is a person that can effectively present an animal in such a way as to enhance its best characteristics. In showmanship, you are judged on your abilities to both control and present your animal, and how you and your animal can work together as a team. Advance planning and practice are the keys to becoming a good showman. Dairy goat showmanship not only generates enthusiasm in the show ring, but also teaches many valuable lessons that can be used in daily life.

These lessons include:
  • Responsibility
  • Learning about work and determination to reach a goal
  • Winning graciously, and losing with dignity.

In Showmanship, your job is to accentuate the positive and downplay the negative. Have a positive attitude! Be confident that you are showing the animal well, and to the best of your ability. Don’t get discouraged by an uncooperative animal, or more experienced showman in your class. Listen to the judge’s reasons for the placings and learn from those reasons. Leave the ring with pride and confidence, and always shake the judge’s hand and thank them for the experience. If you tried, and did your very best, you are a winner!

Change sides by crossing over to the front of your goats, NEVER cross behind the goat. Watch the Judge for hand signals and/or verbal commands. Stand; never kneel behind your goat. When not walking, the animal should be immediately set up in a correct show stance. A correct show stance is one where the animal’s legs are placed squarely underneath it. Set up the end of the goat nearest the judge first, meaning, if the judge is standing at the head of the line, looking at the front of your goat, then set up the front legs first. If the judge is near the end of the line, then the rear legs would be set up first. Place the front legs in a natural stance, perpendicular to the ground. Place the feet so that the legs are parallel to each other, no wider than the chest floor. Place the rear legs so that the hocks are directly below the pin bones, with the rear cannon perpendicular to the ground. Don’t over spread the rear legs. You can level the topline of your goat by “teasing” the goat in the loin. You simply put slight pressure on either side of the loin with your fingers, pressing down just in front of the hip bones. Excessive handling of your goat will draw attention to its weaknesses, so set your goat up quickly and leave it alone.

50 points Showmanship Ability
This consists of following such basic rules as keeping the goat between the exhibitor and the judge, walking at a normal pace, changing sides by crossing in front of the animal, etc. Basically, these 50 points are based on your knowledge of the animal and correct ring procedure, and how well you and the animal work together as a team.

40 points Grooming of the Animal
Includes the overall appearance of the animal in regards to health and condition, as well as cleanliness and proper clipping and grooming.

10 points Appearance of Exhibitor
Based on the neatness and appropriateness of grooming and attire of the show person.

Purebred DAIRY GOAT Registry