DO­ING YOGA WITH GOATS AT DEN­VER COUNTY FAIR

Event has clean­ers ready when things get na­maste

The Denver Post - - FRONT PAGE - By Tom McGhee

Sis­ters Kate and Anna Lemons sat on their yoga mats, aban­don­ing for a mo­ment the pose they had been work­ing on. A roam­ing clus­ter of goats ap­proached.

Through­out the Na­tional Western Com­plex’s Sta­dium Hall on Sun­day, a yoga class went on as de­lighted par­tic­i­pants stopped prac­tic­ing to pet or hold a goat.

Some of the an­i­mals were ba­bies, some adults. They all seemed unim­pressed by the at­ten­tion they were get­ting and the smiles break­ing out on the faces that sur­rounded them.

“I have never been this close to one,” said Kate, 19. “They’re very cud­dly.”

The sis­ters were among 236 peo­ple who at­tended goat yoga, an event that brought 50 goats in con­tact with yoga prac­ti­tion­ers on Sun­day at the Den­ver County Fair.

Goat yoga has be­come a sen­sa­tion across the coun­try. Na­tional Western mar­ket­ing direc­tor Karen Woods de­cided to bring the event to the fair, said Leah Labonte, NWS mar­ket­ing co­or­di­na­tor.

Jen­nifer Kin­caid, 34, grew up on a farm. When she was a child, she and her fam­ily trav­eled with about 20 goats and an as­sort­ment of other an­i­mals as they pre­sented a trav­el­ing pony and pet­ting show, she said.

“They have got great per­son­al­i­ties. They’re like dogs,” she said of the goats. “They are very sweet, very funny. They are like lit­tle co­me­di­ans.”

Kin­caid brought her 11-yearold son, Erik ,to the class, telling him about her ex­pe­ri­ences with the an­i­mals as they drove to the fair, she said. Now “he wants a goat.”

One day, Erik said, he might get one “if mom has her way.”

As the goats wan­dered, they pooped and peed. No one seemed to mind.

One of them left “a lit­tle land mine,” by her mat, Kin­caid said.

It was quickly cleaned up, she added.

“There were san­i­ta­tion spe­cial­ists around, so even if they

were poop­ing, they were clean­ing it up,” said Claire Goodale, 27.

Moun­tain Coun­try Nige­ri­ans pro­vided the Nige­rian dwarf goats for the event.

Owner Syd­ney Burt, 50, said she raises the an­i­mals on her prop­erty in Ben­nett. She shows and sells the goats from her farm, east of Den­ver.

The Nige­rian dwarfs are a dairy breed. And although she sells some, she keeps many of the goats, mak­ing lo­tions and soap from their milk, she said.

She got in­ter­ested in the goats af­ter her chil­dren, mem­bers of 4-H, be­gan rais­ing them. “They’re easy to main­tain, and they have lit­tle dog-like per­son­al­i­ties.”

The goats are so docile that she is able to walk into the herd and milk them or trim their hooves “right where they stand,” Kin­caid said.

Pho­tos by He­len H. Richard­son, The Den­ver Post

Peo­ple par­tic­i­pate with goals in a yoga class on Sun­day at the Na­tional Western Com­plex as part of the Den­ver County Fair.

Is­abel Swart­wood, 6, gets lots of at­ten­tion from a posse of goats and ap­pears to be en­joy­ing her­self.

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