We caught up with judge Cruz Nichols before he steps “Inside the Ring” to sort the Breeding Ewe Show at Tulsa State Fair. Learn more about Cruz below…
What’s been your all time favorite sheep you have judged?
2018 Champion Commercial Ewe Arkansas State Fair shown by Riley Hoyle and raised by Rule Sheep Company
Who’s your biggest influence in evaluating livestock?
Evan Snyder and Craig Beckmeir have had a big impact in my livestock evaluation.
What do you look for when evaluating?
I want my animals fancy like a super model but athletic like a running back.
If down to the last few, what will be your sort?
Uniqueness. I like animals that are hard to recreate
Do you prefer to evaluate when sheep are in motion or stuck on profile?
In motion. If they motor properly they should look good stuck too.
Tell us about your family!
I’m the fourth generation of the Nichols to raise show sheep. I’m now married, and live in Illinois where we have started the 5th generation of sheep producers with Harper and Hadley Nichols.
What’s one show you look forward to every year?
NAILE. It’s the Super Bowl in my opinion.
In your mind, how has the industry changed in the show ring over the last 10 years?
The preparation has changed a ton. I grew up fitting sheep and that’s not as popular but the attention to detail on slick shorn sheep is must to succeed.