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Schonfeld wins Goat Olympics for third time

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Terra Decker, 12, tries to get her goat to weave backwards through tires as part of the Goat Olympics Tuesday evening at the Shelby County Fairgrounds. Decker placed second in the competition.
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Andrew Spegal guides his goat under the tunnel as part of the Goat Olympics at the Shelby County Fairgrounds Tuesday evening. This was Spegal’s fourth year competing in this event.

By HANNAH GUNNELL

hgunnell@shelbynews.com

Toby Schonfeld, 17, took home the first place ribbon for the third year in a row at the Goat Olympics course Tuesday evening at the Shelby County Fair.

Viewers of the Goat Olympics (also referred to as Goat Agility) course got to witness 12 children (handlers) guide goats through an obstacle course at the livestock arena Tuesday evening.

Some of the participants brought their own goats, others, like Schonfeld, borrowed goats from their friends.

The course had eight obstacles. Handlers had to weave their goats in and out of cones, change the goats pace between two markers, walk the goat through a pool, walk the goat under a tunnel, maneuver the goat over a makeshift bridge, jump two sets of hurdles, walk around a tire and finally walk backwards while weaving in and out of tires.

The goat Schonfeld borrowed, "Sweetness," was about a year old, Schonfeld said. He said he thought borrowing from a friend is cool because he could share the win with the owners of the goat.

“It’s so much fun because it’s a friendly event to compete in,” he said.

Schonfeld plans on competing again next year. He will be a 10-year 4-H member next year. He plans on keeping his reign by making sure he has good friends that will lend him their goat.

Second-place finisher Terra Decker, 12, has also competed in this event multiple years. This year, she handled her goat, "Dexter." Dexter is only 6 months old, so she wasn’t sure how he would handle during competition, she said.

Decker said she comes back to do this event every year because it’s fun to go through the course.

“It’s fun getting to see the different things [the goats] can do, and getting them to do new things like jump over stuff and get in the water,” she said.

Third-place finisher Madison Evans, 17, had never participated in the Goat Olympics before because she hadn’t heard of it.

Evans said her friend convinced her to compete earlier that day by letting Evans borrow her goat.

“I didn’t think I was going to do well, especially because I was borrowing a goat and wasn’t sure if it’d do that good or not,” Evans said.

Another participant, Andrew Spegal, 18, said the goat show is a fun experience that prepares goats and handlers for the Goat Show by giving them practice walking and being with other goats in the arena.

Spegal said a goat is his favorite animal because they’re low maintenance and easy to get along with.

“Unlike a cow, if they step on your foot it doesn’t hurt,” he added.