By Karl Terry: PNT special writer
Wool is back in style at the Roosevelt County Fair.
After a hiatus of several years, the Shepherd’s Lead returned during the 2008 Roosevelt County Fair.
Young ladies and their lambs continued the revived tradition Saturday at the fair with entries in three classes.
The competition uses models classed by age in a fashion show
featuring outfits made from wool. The models each lead a lamb during the show and are judged on the outfit, the lamb, the contestant’s handling of the lamb and their poise on the runway.
“It’s a good way for people to know learn about the versatility of wool and how it can be used,” said event coordinator Jennifer Faust.
“It’s fun for the kids too.”
Many of the lambs used in the show were supplied by Faust’s son, Bret Faust, or by event co-coordinator Jeanne Kircher’s family.
Even if the contestants didn’t have their own sheep or help make their outfit, they were required to regularly wash the sheep and learn to lead them, said the organizers.
Savannah Kircher, modeling a denim outfit made by her mother and leading a lamb named Prissy, was the junior class winner. Her younger sister, Kaitlynn Kircher, was first in the booster class and Teagan Faust was first in mini boosters.
Victoria Cordova, a Portales sixth-grader, got involved late after she visited the Faust farm where her younger sister Nicole was working with a lamb in preparation of the contest. When she appeared interested, Faust quickly found her a sheep to lead.
“I helped walk ‘em and wash ‘em and feed them,” Victoria said.
Victoria said she was nervous about getting in front of an audience for the first time but admitted she was excited about modeling her outfit, which featured a red wool blend jumper over a black shell. She said she picked the colors because they were Portales Ram team colors.
I liked to wash my sheep and it shaked a lot,” said contestant Kara Young. Kara, a Portales third-grader, entered last year with a lamb named Gum Drop.
This year she was leading Sugar Pop. When as master of ceremonies Faust asked Kara if she planned to continue with the candy theme next year, Kara replied, “I hope so.”
“As you can tell from the outfits they don’t even look like wool anymore,” said Faust. “When I was in it (Shepherd’s Lead) years ago the colors were browns, the fabric was heavy and itchy.”
Kircher says she’s pleased the event is once again gaining a toehold at the fair and hopes it continues to grow.
“I think just getting people aware of the versatility of the wool is important,” Kircher said. “Using the sheep helps kids put
together where the wool comes from.”
Models included Savannah Kircher, Victoria Cordova, Kaitlyn Kircher, Kara Young, Nicole Cordova, Teagan Faust and Layton Faust.
Seamstresses featured this year were Lucille Brooks, GiGi Parker, Eva Vinson and Jeanne Kircher.