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Children clock lengthy hours for state fair livestock competition

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TWC News: Children clock lengthy hours for state fair livestock competition
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RALEIGH—While many kids are taking advantage of the rides the NC State Fair has to offer, some are are showing sheep.

On Thursday, children in the Junior Division showed off various breeds of sheep for the chance to win scholarship money.

"It's fun, I enjoy it," said participant of Jr. Sheep Showmanship Katy Jimenez.

However, many kids are trading in their time on the rides for the friendly competition of sheep showing.

"I like the animals and I love the sheep," said Jimenez.

Up before daybreak, kids like Faith Dunbar have been showing sheep for years.

"We have to fit them, we have to sheer, we have to leave two inches of wool on them.  We have to make sure they're not briers or anything in their wool," Dunbar said.

"When you work with sheep you tend to baby them up and make them all special," said Emily Best.

A special process some call lengthy.  It's filled with primping and preparation before the go in front of the judges.

What judges are looking for is called the crimp.  They make sure the curls stay consistent throughout the entire sheep.

Dedication is key when it comes to the pageantry of it all. Faith clocks in about five hours a day for months for showing.

"With wool sheep I've learned how to sheer them with hand and electric sheers.  I've also learned how to spin the wool and knit with it," said Dunbar.

"My favorite part is working with them and all the cuddles. Cuddling them is so much fun," said Best.

Horses, cattle, pigs, and goats are also shown at the fair. The livestock competitions will continue through Sunday.

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