Although this year’s 78th Annual Chelsea Community Fair doesn’t officially get underway until Tuesday, Aug. 25, the Chelsea-Dexter School District Lamb Club kids were at the fairgrounds earlier this week for some pre-fair pointers.
Superintendents Lisa Lutchka and Judy Hermosillo told the lamb club kids that they should be working with their lambs, leading them around and practicing how to set them up.
“Do you remember what a lamb sandwich is?” Lutchka asked the youth, referring to where the kids should be standing in relationship to the judge.
“Keep your lamb between you and the judge,” she reminded them while demonstrating with “N” a lamb owned by Nando Hermosillo, 9, of Dexter Township and Monster, a black lamb owned by his older sister, Anna Hermosillo.
Nando and Anna, 11, are in their 4th and 5th years respectively, showing lambs at the Chelsea Community Fair. The siblings are both working with three sheep each at home before they make a final determination of which two they each will bring for the competition.
Anna is leaning toward showing Monster, an all-black lamb, which was at the practice session, and Milky, a lamb with a white body and a black face.
Nando has been working with N and Peaches and Cream five days a week to get them ready to show.
The lambs are unloaded for the Chelsea Dexter Lamb Club practice session. Lisa Lutchka has N and Fernando Hermosillo holds Monster. Nando Hermosillo walks toward them with halters and Anna Hermosillo gets ready to put a halter on Monster.
“I hope to make it six days,” he said about increasing the time he spends working with his lambs as the fair date gets closer.
“I want to do my best,” Anna said about her expectations for fair, adding that she prefers showmanship over the market lamb classes because it shows that she’s been working with her lamb.
Lutchka suggested to the youth that they should be working with their lambs about 20 minutes a day, or at least a few times a week, especially the younger exhibitors. Because although the market classes don’t take as long as the showmanship classes do, the judge still expects the exhibitors to be able to control their lambs while in the show ring.
She demonstrated the correct head position and foot position as well as how to maneuver the lamb into position to show off its best attributes. And, what to do if the lamb won’t move when being led by its head around the ring.
“They need to be handleable,” Lutchka said. She suggested that they know all the parts of the lamb and handed them sheets with all the parts clearly marked. Lutchka said the judge could ask the breed of their lamb, the month it was born, how much its being fed and other questions, like the percentage of protein the animal is being fed.
“The judge will want to see that you can work your lamb and answer questions at the same time,” she said.
About 20 kids and about 40 lambs are expected to show on Wednesday, Aug. 20 beginning at 6 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose Arena. And, four of them are new to the lamb scene while three are returning after not showing sheep last year. There will be no graduating seniors in the lamb club ranks this year.
The traditional lamb showing attire is closed toe shoes, blue jeans and plaid shirts, and the competition gets underway with showmanship and then moves into the market classes.
The fair takes place from Tuesday, Aug. 25-Saturday, Aug. 29 and this year’s fair premium book is available online at www.chelseafair.org.
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Below is a gallery of photos taken this past Monday at the Chelsea Fair Grounds.