IGDF Chariot Race, Here We Come!!
I forgot to mention that we had a little excitement on our drive yesterday. Everyone went very well the whole time and we had just turned to head back to the truck when something startled Finn in a big way. Phil and I were driving side by side when Finn suddenly bolted with a loud snort. This spooked Sputnik and both goats took off like a shot, almost leaving Phil and I behind on the pavement. Good thing neither of us was standing up in our chariots! Our goats "huddled," escalating the situation into a full-blown Hollywood-style chariot race. When goats panic they form a tight bunch and run shoulder-to-shoulder. Well, that's what Finn and Sputnik did and of course our chariot wheels locked. There was a loud ripping noise of tire scraping tires and an acrid smell of burnt rubber as we raced full-tilt down the street. We managed to stop before the tires were damaged and then we had to get out and unlock our wheels. We led our frightened charges for a while until they calmed down and their breathing became less frenzied. I'm not sure what set Finn off. There are bears in those woods, but we never saw one. Had we not locked our wheels right at the outset, it might have been quite the race!
I think I saw this seen in the movie Ben-Hur. You have to find out what spooked the goats and use it when you race. Maybe get a slightly tone down version. You can get different animal smells in small bottle at the sport store like deer and elk, maybe they have a beer scent. They also have animal calls, that might work and not be so stinky.
Finn is terrified of voices coming out of handheld devices such as a phone on speaker or an iPad when Phil is Skyping. Sputnik bolts in panic any time I reach forward and touch the britchen on his harness. So we've each got our underhanded methods. Wink
Wear helmets!
Goatberries Happen!
Had a GREAT drive with Sputnik today! He was almost perfectly well-behaved the whole time, even when leaving Finn or going off on side routes. The whip stayed in the socket almost the entire time and he went almost completely from voice command, so I feel we're really starting to be ready for this chariot race.

Phil had a little harder time with Finn, but not too bad. Finn also is very out of shape and gets tired much faster than Sputnik. Sputnik is not in great shape either, but he's an athlete compared to Fatty Finn right now! I'm not sure how that happened. Finn is also not helped by his black back and hindquarters and gets hot quickly. Oh well. We really haven't been able to practice as much as we should have this summer, so it's no wonder our goats are overweight and easily tired. It finally stopped raining this week so maybe we can get in a few more rides before the big trip.
We're on the road to Tennessee with chariots and goats in tow. Our costumes were hastily thrown together late the other night and we stopped at a bike shop in Pueblo on our way out of town yesterday to fix a flat tire on Phil's chariot (I'd broken the needle on the valve stem). Can't wait to drive these boys in "The World's Greatest Goat Parade" tomorrow evening!
I'm sure you will have a lot of fun - looking forward to seeing your photos! Safe travels
Happiness is a baby goat snoring in your lap
We made it to Tennessee early this afternoon and had time to put the finishing touches on our costumes and chariots. I tidied up Finn and Sputnik, we got harnessed and hitched just in time for the "World's Greatest Goat Parade". 

Phil made a magnificent and imposing Thor. 

I was Juno--a Greek goddess who typically was shown dressed in hunting garb.  

There were also a dozen or so of these colorful dudes in the parade. Sputnik about had a heart attack when he saw them. Goats are NOT supposed to be this color! I had to get out and lead him partway along the parade because he kept trying to turn around and stare at them. 

This right here is what made it the "World's Greatest" goat parade. CUTENESS OVERLOAD WARNING!!
Oh my gosh! Your chariots and costumes are awesome! You guys are really talented! I love the goats on wheels. I want one! The little kid and his goat in the pedal car is definitely cuteness overload! Have fun and stay safe. Not sure how IRMA is going to affect your travel.
Goatberries Happen!
Well, we were so busy we didn't get many photos today, but we had a great time! First off was the much-anticipated Chariot Race. 

There was some confusion as to where the race was to be held. The program said we would race in the "Kid Zone", which was on the baseball field and the historical location of the race back when it was still run. The lady in charge, on the other hand, said we would race in the horse arena. Phil and I were pretty skeptical about that--the arena had panels set up and was full of cows and hay and a lot of cow pies, and horse arena footing is not suitable for driving goats at speed. We were game, but we felt it would be "the world's slowest chariot race" if we ran (or plodded more like) around the horse arena. 

After a bit of back-and-forth, Phil and I suggested we run on the smooth gravel road behind the arena. It was a nice straightaway--not too short, not too long, and the packed footing was excellent for goat hooves and smooth rolling for chariot wheels. Because of the confusion we did not get a huge audience, but the folks that were there cheered enthusiastically.

It was a tight race. Sputnik got off to a faster start and led from wire to wire, but finished by only a neck. With a bit of hollering from Phil (er, Thor), Finn kicked into gear and began to overtake Sputnik about halfway down the track. I hollered at Sputnik with little result, but as Finn began to sail past us I tickled the tip of Sputnik's tail with my finger and he put on an extra little burst of speed to maintain his lead across the finish. It was a good race. It probably helps that I'm a good 25 lbs. lighter than Phil. 

Sputnik and I with our First Place trophy.    

Phil and Finn with their Second Place trophy.

And although it's completely unrelated to goat chariot racing, we had to put this one in here for Uncle Steve. Phil totally rocked this pink tractor, wouldn't you agree?  

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