Makenzie had a Little Lamb

I spent some time with Makenzie Driggers at the Georgia National Fair in Perry, Georgia, while she prepared her lamb, Calliope, for the showmanship showing for 9th Graders. Makenzie has shown animals in competitions for many years, but recently began showing sheep. Judges look for a trusting relationship between the animal and it’s handler, as well as certain handling techniques. Makenzie hoped to get in the top 10 for the competition since she is very new to the section. After countless hours of preparation and hard-work, Makenzie placed 4th!

Watching the way that she interacted with an animal that most consider to be simply a farm animal was inspiring. She treated it as if it were a family member, which I suppose in hindsight, all of the family’s animals really are an extension of their care and love.

By the end of the competition I was holding my breath in hopes that Makenzie would continue moving up higher in the ranks!

Makenzie Driggers, 14, a 9th grader from Effingham County, brushes the fur of her lamb, Calliope, at the Georgia National Fair in Perry, Georgia, on Saturday, October 10, 2015. The goal is to brush the fur in a straight line so it looks muscular, rather than soft.
Makenzie Driggers, 14, a 9th grader from Effingham County, brushes the fur of her lamb, Calliope, at the Georgia National Fair in Perry, Georgia, on Saturday, October 10, 2015. The goal is to brush the fur in a straight line so it looks muscular, rather than soft.
Makenzie Driggers, 14, a 9th grader from Effingham County, brushes the fur of her lamb, Calliope, at the Georgia National Fair in Perry, Georgia, on Saturday, October 10, 2015. The goal is to brush the fur in a straight line so it looks muscular, rather than soft.
Makenzie Driggers, 14, a 9th grader from Effingham County, brushes the fur of her lamb, Calliope, at the Georgia National Fair in Perry, Georgia, on Saturday, October 10, 2015. The goal is to brush the fur in a straight line so it looks muscular, rather than soft.
Makenzie Driggers, 14, a 9th grader from Effingham County, prepares her lamb, Calliope, for the 9th grade showmanship presentation at the Georgia National Fair in Perry, Georgia, on Saturday, October 10, 2015. For this competition, judges look at the relationship between the sheep and the handler to see how comfortable they are with one another.
Makenzie Driggers, 14, a 9th grader from Effingham County, prepares her lamb, Calliope, for the 9th grade showmanship presentation at the Georgia National Fair in Perry, Georgia, on Saturday, October 10, 2015. For this competition, judges look at the relationship between the sheep and the handler to see how comfortable they are with one another.
Makenzie Driggers, 14, a 9th grader from Effingham County, practices presenting her lamb, Calliope, at the Georgia National Fair in Perry, Georgia, on Saturday, October 10, 2015. In the showmanship competition, judges look for how the lamb responds to their handlers more than body appearance.
Makenzie Driggers, 14, a 9th grader from Effingham County, practices presenting her lamb, Calliope, at the Georgia National Fair in Perry, Georgia, on Saturday, October 10, 2015. In the showmanship competition, judges look for how the lamb responds to their handlers more than body appearance.
Makenzie Driggers, 14, a 9th grader from Effingham County, practices presenting her lamb, Calliope, at the Georgia National Fair in Perry, Georgia, on Saturday, October 10, 2015. This hand position ultimately was the cause for her loss. The judge felt that she was forcing the lamb too much.
Makenzie Driggers, 14, a 9th grader from Effingham County, practices presenting her lamb, Calliope, at the Georgia National Fair in Perry, Georgia, on Saturday, October 10, 2015. This hand position ultimately was the cause for her loss. The judge felt that she was forcing the lamb too much.
Makenzie Driggers, 14, a 9th grader from Effingham County, spends time with her lamb, Calliope, before presenting her at the Georgia National Fair in Perry, Georgia, on Saturday, October 10, 2015. In the showmanship competition, judges look for how the lamb responds to their handlers more than body appearance.
Makenzie Driggers, 14, a 9th grader from Effingham County, spends time with her lamb, Calliope, before presenting her at the Georgia National Fair in Perry, Georgia, on Saturday, October 10, 2015. In the showmanship competition, judges look for how the lamb responds to their handlers more than body appearance.
Makenzie Driggers, 14, a 9th grader from Effingham County, spends time with her lamb, Calliope, before presenting her at the Georgia National Fair in Perry, Georgia, on Saturday, October 10, 2015. In the showmanship competition, judges look for how the lamb responds to their handlers more than body appearance.
Makenzie Driggers, 14, a 9th grader from Effingham County, spends time with her lamb, Calliope, before presenting her at the Georgia National Fair in Perry, Georgia, on Saturday, October 10, 2015. In the showmanship competition, judges look for how the lamb responds to their handlers more than body appearance.
Makenzie Driggers, 14, a 9th grader from Effingham County, waits to show her lamb at the Georgia National Fair in Perry, Georgia, on Saturday, October 10, 2015. Driggers explains that in most shows if she wins she will receive a belt buckle as part of the prize.
Makenzie Driggers, 14, a 9th grader from Effingham County, waits to show her lamb at the Georgia National Fair in Perry, Georgia, on Saturday, October 10, 2015. Driggers explains that in most shows if she wins she will receive a belt buckle as part of the prize.
Makenzie Driggers, 14, a 9th grader from Effingham County, strategizes with her father, Billy Driggers, before she shows her lamb at the Georgia National Fair in Perry, Georgia, on Saturday, October 10, 2015. Her father waits with her each time she shows an animal.
Makenzie Driggers, 14, a 9th grader from Effingham County, strategizes with her father, Billy Driggers, before she shows her lamb at the Georgia National Fair in Perry, Georgia, on Saturday, October 10, 2015. Her father waits with her each time she shows an animal.
Makenzie Driggers, 14, a 9th grader from Effingham County, left, shows her lamb, Calliope, in the 9th grade showmanship competition at the Georgia National Fair in Perry, Georgia, on Saturday, October 10, 2015. Participants must handle their sheep while keeping their eyes on the judge at all times.
Makenzie Driggers, 14, a 9th grader from Effingham County, left, shows her lamb, Calliope, in the 9th grade showmanship competition at the Georgia National Fair in Perry, Georgia, on Saturday, October 10, 2015. Participants must handle their sheep while keeping their eyes on the judge at all times.
Makenzie Driggers, 14, a 9th grader from Effingham County, shows her lamb, Calliope, in the 9th grade showmanship competition at the Georgia National Fair in Perry, Georgia, on Saturday, October 10, 2015. Participants must handle their sheep while keeping their eyes on the judge at all times.
Makenzie Driggers, 14, a 9th grader from Effingham County, shows her lamb, Calliope, in the 9th grade showmanship competition at the Georgia National Fair in Perry, Georgia, on Saturday, October 10, 2015. Participants must handle their sheep while keeping their eyes on the judge at all times.
After placing fourth, Makenzie Driggers, 14, a 9th grader from Effingham County, smiles with pride at the Georgia National Fair in Perry, Georgia, on Saturday, October 10, 2015. Driggers began showing sheep just this year, and hoped to place in the top ten. Placing fourth exceeded her expectations.
After placing fourth, Makenzie Driggers, 14, a 9th grader from Effingham County, smiles with pride at the Georgia National Fair in Perry, Georgia, on Saturday, October 10, 2015. Driggers began showing sheep just this year, and hoped to place in the top ten. Placing fourth exceeded her expectations.
Makenzie Driggers, 14, a 9th grader from Effingham County, her lamb, Calliope, and Driggers' mother, Catherine Driggers, walk back to the preparation area after Drigger's placed fourth in the 9th grade showmanship competition at the Georgia National Fair in Perry, Georgia, on Saturday, October 10, 2015. Driggers is new to sheep showing, and was pleased with her fourth place win.
Makenzie Driggers, 14, a 9th grader from Effingham County, her lamb, Calliope, and Driggers’ mother, Catherine Driggers, walk back to the preparation area after Drigger’s placed fourth in the 9th grade showmanship competition at the Georgia National Fair in Perry, Georgia, on Saturday, October 10, 2015. Driggers is new to sheep showing, and was pleased with her fourth place win.