We caught up with showmanship judge Colby Hales before he steps “Inside the Ring” at the National Western Stock Show. We invite you to read our candid interview with Colby below and please continue to check back often for our next edition of “Inside the Ring – Showmanship Edition.”
WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WANT THE EXHIBITORS TO KNOW ABOUT YOU?
I am totally fired up to be asked to judge sheep showmanship at the National Western. Denver is an incredibly special place to me so I am excited to work with the kids in an arena that has done a lot for me.
The biggest piece of advice that I can offer to exhibitors is I like a very competitive showmen but at the same time not distracting. I don’t really have a preferred style per se because I think every sheep is different and needs to be shown slightly different to get the most out of your animal. My biggest priority is making your sheep look the best it possibly can, the rest is icing.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON SWITCHING SIDES?
Switching sides is important to me. Make a “lamb sandwich.” But, as I mentioned in the previous question, do it in a non-distracting way. Showmen that can be efficient but smooth and methodical have gotten along with me very well.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT MAKING NOISE TO MAKE THE ANIMALS MOVE?
Personally, I am not a big fan of making lots of noise. I hate sounding like a broken record, but it draws attention to showmen in a negative way in my opinion. However, every sheep is different so if it can keep your sheep moving and looking correct, I try to never put a kid down because they have figured out how to make their sheep work. I would just advise to limit lots of noise if possible.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE TOUGHEST DIVISION TO JUDGE?
This question I think is awfully hard because I know going in to the show that each division is going to have several heaters for showmen. I know each division will have great showmen that unfortunately get beat because I would expect it to be really tough. But, it sure is hard to sort through a bunch of intense juniors and only get to pick two.
I am a major fair weather fan so late spring and early fall in Wyoming are my favorite for weather but a lot of cool stuff happens when its cold and hot, so I’m just happy to be alive year round.
IF YOU CAN HAVE ANY JOB IN THE WORLD, WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO BE AND WHY?
I already have my dream jobs. I work as a Livestock Judging Coach at Casper College, I also get to auctioneer several sales over the course of the year, and uniquely, I suppose, for a person judging livestock shows, I get to announce a handful of rodeos a year and I love it. I have never really wanted to do anything different than those three jobs.
FAVORITE TYPE OF FOOD?
I consider myself a mac and cheese connoisseur.
I really don’t drink much else other than water and unsweet ice tea, with maybe some other beverages sprinkled in.