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Audrey Nickles

We caught up with sheep showmanship judge Audrey Nickles before she steps “Inside the Ring” at the Michigan Livestock Expo. We invite you to read our candid interview with Audrey below and please continue to check back often for our next edition of “Inside the Ring – Showmanship Edition.”

What is the hardest thing about judging showmanship?
At times, it can be challenging to give the kids time to settle in and show me what they can do while still keeping the show moving at a good pace.

When you showed – what showmanship tip or trick changed your game?
In my mind, many of the most game changing showmanship tips are ones that are implemented and practiced consistently at home.  One of the most important ones for me was setting up my sheep FAR AWAY from other sheep (and not just once, do it a handful of times per session).  Find a shady spot where they can’t see or hear their buddies in the barn (and if you can put a mirror there, even better!).  This teaches them to rely on YOU. It made a huge difference for me.

What is your biggest pet peeve?
If kids want to thank me and shake my hand, I would prefer that they do so after the show- not while I’m giving reasons.

What is the most impactful piece of advice you have received?
If you do the work, it eventually pays off.  There are no shortcuts in life.

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