Freshening up for the fair

By Ryan Cornell

WOODSTOCK — Beanie Guthrie slides a pair of electric clippers up one side of her goat.

Patches of white hair blanket the ground like freshly fallen snow. The steady buzzing of the clippers is drowned out by the intermittent bleating of her goat.

“I think it’s because they don’t like the sound of it, and they’re not used to this, but they’re OK,” said Beanie, 14, from Fort Valley. “They just like to scream.”

The reason why her 9-month-old goat, Kat, isn’t used to it is because it’s her first ever haircut. From the time Kat was born to the moment the two will part ways at the fair’s livestock sale, Beanie will have shorn the goat exactly once.

Beanie is entering the goat showmanship, market and breeding show at the Shenandoah County Fair on Wednesday morning.

She said she shaves the hair up to the goat’s neck and will also clip its horns and trim the hair around its hooves. On Tuesday morning she’ll begin washing Kat.

Goats look better when they’re shaved, said Beanie, who is in her fourth year of showing goats, and judges might take away points if their hair is too long.

Across from the 4-H Show Arena, Tyler Holzbauer, 16, hoses down his angus-cross steer.

He said he washes off his 1-year-old steer Turbo — “When you walk him, he’ll moo and it sounds like a turbo winding down,” he added — about once to twice each day to keep him clean.

Even at his home in Edinburg, Tyler said he washes the steer just as frequently.

“They’ll get used to it when we get here so it’s not nothing different to where they flip out or carry on,” he said.

Tyler will be showing Turbo at the beef showmanship competition on Tuesday.

Now in his third year of showing cattle, he said it’s important to always remain calm.

“Because if you show the calf that you’re nervous or scared, then the calf will take that and use that against you to try and get away,” he said.

The Shenandoah County Fair will hold its 4-H and FFA beef showmanship and market steer show at noon on Tuesday; its swine showmanship, market and breeding show at 8 a.m. Wednesday; its goat showmanship, market and breeding show at 10 a.m. Wednesday and its open dairy showmanship and show at 5 p.m. Thursday. The livestock sale is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or