What is Showmanship???
Showmanship is the one area of livestock showing where the exhibitor has control. In showmanship, you are judged on your ability to control and present the lamb at its best. One of the most important things to remember in showmanship is that the judge SHOULD judge you, and how you have raised for project. They should not judge the quality of the lamb. Remember – practice makes perfect! If you want to do well in showmanship, then you need to start training your lamb as soon as you can. Hard work will pay off at the show.
- Leather boots are preferred for safety and appearance
- Wear clean jeans or slacks
- Wear a clean 4-H shirt. Tuck in your shirt, and wear a belt for added neatness.
- Don’t wear baseball caps
- Don’t bring any grooming equipment into show ring
- A neat appearance helps make a positive impression
Setting up your lamb
- Set the lamb up so all four feet are squared and the rear legs slightly back. For smaller exhibitors, this can be done by bumping or pushing with knee on the front of the lamb or even using your feet to set the lambs legs. For larger exhibitors, this can be done by setting the rear legs by hand and then lightly lifting the front end of the lamb with a leg to move them into position.
- Once the lamb is set up, keep it head held high and know where the judge is. Always stay in front of your lamb or on the side. Never cross over the back or behind the lamb. When the judge walks in front of your lamb, move to the side so he/she can get a good view of the front end of your lamb. Be ready for the judge to handle your lamb. Your lamb should be trained to brace/drive or push into you. When properly bracing/driving your lamb, its muscle will tighten up, feel firmer, and appear large and pronounced. While bracing/driving your lamb, never pick up the front end of the lamb. ALL four feet should be set up and ON THE GROUND while bracing/driving your lamb.
Moving your lamb
When leading from the left-hand side, place left hand under the chin and right hand behind the ears. Keep control of you lamb while moving it forward and be aware of where the judge is. If your lamb won’t move forward, gently reach back and lift up on the lamb’s dock. Be sure to leave enough room between you and the other exhibitors when you stop so you have enough room to proper set your lamb up. When the judge pulls lambs and lines them up, be sure to move forward so there aren’t gaps between you and another exhibitor. Again set your lamb up as efficiently as possible.
Important things to remember in showmanship...
- ALWAYS look at the judge and know where he/she is at
- NEVER get between your lamb and the judge
- ALWAYS have a super clean lamb
- KNOW the information regarding your lamb (weight, rate of gain, feeding details, parts of you lamb)
- Set you lamb up as EFFICIENTLY as possible
- Don’t FIDDLE with your lamb it is set up properly and standing quietly
- LEARN from your mistakes
- ASK questions and WATCH older showman
- REMEMBER to have good sportsmanship
Parts of a Lamb
Ideal Breeding/Commercial Ewe
- Balance and style
- Frame size
- Soundness and structural correctness
- Capacity or volume
- Degree of muscling
- Degree of leanness
- Wool (if shown with wool)
Ideal Market Lamb
- Size and scale (height, length, & width)
- Depth and length of body
- Levelness of rump
- Length of hindsaddle
- Depth and fullness of leg
- Trimness in the middle
- Correctness of feet, legs, and pasterns
- Length of head and neck
- Trimness of breast