How two Nigerian Dwarf goats kicked up their cloven hooves and brought home glory

On a warm Sunday afternoon in May at the SlyFox Brewing Company’s Annual Bock Fest and Goat Race, the most unlikely of competitors rose to the top of a field of about 40 to bask in the radiant glow of the winner’s circle…

Have Goats, Will Race

When we first approached our Senior Project Manager Dominic Machion about sponsoring his two Nigerian Dwarf goats in SlyFox Brewing Company’s Annual Bock Fest and Goat Race, he hesitated only briefly before saying, “I’m in if you guys are serious. I’ve got the Rocky theme queued up for their [the goats’] training montage.”  With no idea what to expect, we all went headlong into the plan to have a great day as a team with our families while we cheered on our two unlikely athletes, Daisy and Dolly.

Dolly raced first in the second heat.  She was handled by Dom’s daughter and came in a respectable third place.  While this was not fast enough to earn her a spot in the semi-finals, if there was a prize for the sweetest goat, Dolly definitely would have won.  Secretly, she seemed relieved to retire back to the goat coral and receive pats on the head from all the passersby.

The Eye of the Tiger

Daisy raced in the eighth heat of the day.  We don’t know if she is a natural-born racing machine, or if she saw the door and the way home, but she blazed across the finish line with a time that earned her a spot in the semi-finals.  After winning her semi-final run, it was time for the final heat.  She was facing the four-time winner Princess Jenny and the warm May air hung thick with anticipation as the goats took the starting line.  Dom’s eldest son was handling Daisy.  Could he keep up with her lightning hooves?  The capacity crowd of 3,000 was swelling with cheers for Daisy and Jenny as the goats set their sights on victory.  All of a sudden, the thundering of tiny hooves came closer and closer to the finish, each goat running like an Olympic champion, their handlers determined to keep up.  What happened next was a first for the Bock Fest and Goat Race.  Daisy and Jenny crossed the finish line at exactly the same moment…it was a tie.  A photo finish for the record books.

After much scrutiny of the footage, it was deemed the goats must race again to determine the winner.   This means another bite at the apple for our sweet Daisy, who may have been thinking an apple sounds pretty good about now.  As the goats took the starting line for the final time, Dominic looked incredulous that his Daisy, an overly-talkative and impatient girl from the farm, was about to win the final goat race at Bock Fest.  We all thought it was true.  Daisy was a sure winner as the crowd began chanting DAISY, DAISY, DAISY! She can’t lose!

The Glow of the Winner’s Circle

Daisy and Princess Jenny took off from the starting line. They ran down the track with all the grace and majesty you can imagine a goat to possess.  It was as if in slow motion, a virtual ballet of little hooves pounding, handlers willing their goats to win while trying to keep up, and the crowd in a fever of tumultuous cheer.  It was glorious!  At the finish line, it was Jenny for the clear win this time.  She was crowned the winner for the fifth year in a row, but that did not take away from our amazement and excitement over how well Daisy performed in her first day at the races.  She was our crown jewel, second place-winner, and we couldn’t be more delighted!  Dominic and his wife, Lauren, appeared to swirl in a daze of astonishment, excitement, and pride. Their little blue-eyed tiger of a goat was being photographed, patted, and showered with affection by complete strangers and, it was magical.  “NEVER in my wildest dreams did I foresee the results we were able to achieve,” said Dom of Daisy’s performance. It was a great day, indeed!

Daisy and Dolly are back at the farm, giving Dom the business over breakfast and enjoying their utterly charmed lives.  With invitations coming in to appear at more Sly Fox events, maybe this day at the races was just the beginning of more fun times to come.  Stay tuned.