Niles, 'Santa Goat,' retiring from fair PDF Print E-mail
Written by BILL RYAN | Sentinel Farm Editor   
Tuesday, 06 August 2013 09:51
Niles the goat, a 13-year veteran of the Wood County Fair, is seen with his owner Estelle Dobbins August 2, 2013 at the Wood County Fair in Bowling Green, Ohio. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
Niles the goat, a 13-year veteran of the Wood County Fair, is seen with his owner Estelle Dobbins August 2, 2013 at the Wood County Fair in Bowling Green, Ohio. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
Being called an “old goat” is generally not flattering. But Niles truly is an old goat.
Owned and formerly shown by Estelle Dobbins, Niles made his farewell appearance at the 2013 Wood County Fair.
Dobbins said Niles has been at the Wood County Fair for 13 years, and apologized for his appearance.
“He looks so bad, he’s like an old man in a nursing home,” Dobbins said.
In his prime, Niles was a top performer at the fair. She said he used to support her weight.
Beginning his career as a market goat 4-H project, the family did not want him to go to market, so it was Dobbins to the rescue.
Literally, she rescued him by purchasing him at the sale and converting him into a performance goat.
“He is such a unique animal (noting his beard), so many kids and parents just love him,” Dobbins said.
She said many of the youth called him “Santa Goat” because of his distinctive white beard.
For those not familiar, Dobbins was instrumental, with another goat, Kramer, to help initiate the introduction of performance goats into the county fair.
There are different events, where the goats pull wagons or other apparatus in competition. Events include harness, pack and obstacle, with Niles having done well in all the events over the years.
“He was at the top of his game back in the day,” Dobbins said.
She shared how numerous youth used Niles as a 4-H project over the years.
Dobbins explained that the life span of a goat is roughly 12-15 years and with his current health, Niles is “near the end of his career and this is likely his last year at the fair.”
She said that both Kramer and Niles were very popular with fairgoers.
“Many people just stop by the barn to see Niles,” she said. “He loved the fair and loved getting up on his gate to see what was going on and to greet people.”
Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 August 2013 12:50
 

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