We caught up with team showmanship judge Lauren Ott before she steps “Inside the Ring” at the New Year Nationals. We invite you to read our candid interview with Lauren 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?
One thing to remember about me is that I respect the kids that never stop showing! Whether your animal isn’t cooperating or you got pulled into place already, I want you to keep showing at your full effort. You never know when a judge will go back through their lineup and make a switch!
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON SWITCHING SIDES?
Switching sides is a crucial element in showmanship. It demonstrates to the judge that you’ve thought of all situations and put in the time and effort to train your animal to respond from both the non show side and the show side. A perfect side switch should be smooth, quick and look seamless to the judge.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT MAKING NOISE TO MAKE THE ANIMALS MOVE?
Personally, I am not a fan of hearing any clicking or kissing sounds to get your animal into motion. They should be trained to walk just by you taking the lead, leave the noises outside of the show ring.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE TOUGHEST DIVISION TO JUDGE?
For me, the toughest division to judge would have to be the beginners! Not only because they all look adorable on the front end of an animal, but because they may not have as much ring experience as the older divisions and it takes a little more time and patience to find the most well rounded individual.
My favorite season has got to be winter. Although I’m not a terribly big fan of the cold, winter means snowboarding, seeing new stock hit the ground, and having some time to hang out with the family around the fireplace.
IF YOU CAN HAVE ANY JOB IN THE WORLD, WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO BE AND WHY?
If I could have any job in the world, I would want to design animal handling facilities for breeding operations or production plants. That way I could travel the country and see and meet breeders and people in the industry to pick their mind on what works best for them while also helping the overall experience for the animals.
FAVORITE TYPE OF FOOD?
My favorite food is pretty much anything with noodles. Big fan of pasta, particularly spaghetti!
If you bring me a sweet tea, I’ll be your friend forever