To get to the Wool Lead Show, one has to sidestep the barnyard residue that lines the dirt sidewalk past the Hog Barn where mud-caked, snorting pigs live in pens. Itâ€™s a stark contrast to the pageantry inside the Sales Arena.
Lines of little girls with immaculate dresses, hair bows, and lambs on leashes waited their turn Friday evening to model their outfits and ewes for the three-judge panel.
â€œItâ€™s always fun with the little itty-bitty ones,â€ Jeanine Corn Best, Wool Lead superintendent and fourth-generation rancher, said. â€œThey all have a personality.â€
Five-year-old Rilee Priest, daughter of Gid and Lynette Priest from Clovis, won the crowd and judges over with the poses she learned from her tap teacher. She has been practicing for the past three weeks and wore a blue Marino sweater made by her grandmother because blue is her dadâ€™s favorite color.
â€œI wanna go see the cows!â€ the kindergartener told her parents after accepting a blue ribbon for best outfit of her age group.
Kenzie Bequette won the Novice class; Holly Perez, Juniors; and Jamie-Ann Foster, Seniors.
The award for best ewe went to Rosebella, a fine wool yearling ewe owned by Kenzie Bequette, 6, daughter of Josh and Tanya Bequette.
Her father noted it took four days to prepare Rosabella for this moment: she had to be washed, dried, carded (combed) and blocked (clipped).
â€œItâ€™s a lot of work, and they did a good job,â€ Josh said proudly of both his daughters. His younger daughter, Kagan, 3, won honorable mention in the age 5-and-under class. (Emily Russo Miller Photo)