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Riley Hoyle

We caught up with ewe showmanship judge Riley Hoyle before she steps “Inside the Ring” at the Tulsa State Fair. We invite you to read our candid interview with Riley below and please continue to check back often for our next edition of “Inside the Ring – Showmanship Edition.”

Do you like when kids show down on their lamb during showmanship?​
I usually prefer kids to brace their sheep, but if showing down makes their lamb look its best then I think it is their smartest move. Showmanship is all about making your lamb look its best and I think there are multiple ways to do so and still be effective in showmanship.

In your opinion, What’s the most crucial thing to do in showmanship to succeed?
In my opinion, the most crucial thing to do in showmanship is to be aware. Ring awareness can really set you apart from others. By always knowing where the judge is, where you are going, and making use of the whole ring you can stand out to the judge.

Do you prefer kids who get low on their sheep or stand up more when bracing?
I usually prefer kids to stand up a bit more when they show, not necessarily straight up, but a balance in between the two extremes. I think that showmen look more comfortable when they find this happy medium and that they are better able to switch sides and reach to set legs when they do so.

What’s your opinion on kids who make noise to get their sheep to walk?
I think that as long as the noises are actually encouraging the sheep to move and this is noticeable, then they are fine. However, if the noises are not having any effect on if the lamb moves or not, then I do not think they are necessary.

What’s your words of wisdom to the kids before you step in the ring?
My biggest words of wisdom to kids, before they step into the ring, is to take a deep breath and be confident. Confidence definitely shows in the ring, and it again can set you apart from your contemporaries. I would encourage all of you to think back on the hours of hard work and dedication you have put into your projects and find confidence in that before you enter the ring.

What do you look forward to most about your upcoming showmanship judging experience?
Really, I am most excited about the opportunity to work with young showmen in a new capacity. For the past few years, I have been able to help coach and guide them and I am excited to expand on that experience as a judge this time. I can not wait to work with all the exhibitors.