Last month Terry & Kay Clemans provided the Chicago Scots a display of Coos from their Highland fold at the 27th annual Highland Games. This was the first time Highlands Coos were brought to the Chicago Scots games and, as Highlands always are, they were a huge hit. The Clemans' brought 4 coos, including a cow/calf pair and two yearlings, and displayed them in a 12x24 pen that was built just for this event. This was HideAway Farm's first time exhibiting part of their fold, and are pleased to report that it went very well. The Chicago Scots have already requested HideAway Farm's participation in their 28th annual event next June and HideAway Farm has enthusiastically committed. While morning rains kepts some of the crowd away, to the dismay of the participants in the Celtic marketplace, an estimated 5,000 people still made it out for what turned out to be a beautiful afternoon. In true Scottish tradition, competitive events included Heavy athletics, Highland dance, rugby, youth soccer, dogs of Scotland, British car show, knobby knees, haggis toss, haggis eating, shortbread, as well as geneology and cultural exhibits. Of course this was all done to the tunes of more than 500 pipers in the Champion supreme piping and drumming competition and in the Clan tartan parade featuring the crowning of a 2013 Chicago Scots Heather Queen and court. If that was not enough, the Whiskey tasting tent and seminars were a popular added bonus.
Terry and Kay report that they had a great time with the display and offer a big "Thank you" to Highland breeder Tommy Thompson, who provided many pointers for them as they observed his display in Springfield, IL, a few weeks prior to their event. Also a big "Thank you" to all of the breeders that have provided them with information to get started; especially Pat White and Gloria Asmussen of the Midwest and Heartland Highland Cattle Associations for helping "us rookies as we learn about this wonderful breed of cattle".
Besides offering information about the breed, the Clemans' provided kids young and old the chance to feed a Highland, and then receive a Highland hand stamp as a reminder of their visit. As with many interactions between humans and animals, there were several humorous moments. One of the funniest examples was with a young boy of about eight or nine years old. He stopped by multiple times and devoured all the information displayed about the fold and the breed. Later in the day, on about his 20th visit, he was telling a little girl of a similar age about the coos, "This is Roger, he's a five month old little bull and this is Roger's mom, Noel, she's a five year old registered cow. This red one is Liam, he's a 15 month old registered bull. This is MoonBeam, she's a 14 month old "high-fer" (and after a long pause), I don't know what a "high-fer" is". After a great chuckle, it was explained what a heifer is, which was a common question as "city folk" like us had a chance to learn about this fantastic breed.
Terry and Kay report that since this event takes place less than three miles from their home in Chicago's western suburbs, it made the potential complications of being in a major urban area easier to handle. Several of their friends and neighbors came by to help keep an eye on the crowd, which at peak times was two to three persons deep around the pen. "We can hardly wait until next year!"
Terry and Kay with their exhibit at Chicago Scots 27th Annual Highland Games
Terry manning the info portion of the display.
Dancers 84 and 85 who came by several times. This time was after the dance competition so they were able to get their Highland hand stamp (see the red stamp on their hands). The dancers could not have any stamps, temporary tattoos, or face painting prior to the competition. The bigger of the 2 girls proclaimed several times that she wants to be a large animal vet and would have stayed all day if mom and dad would have allowed it.
Some of the folks enjoying the Highlands
A couple of the HideAway Farm helpers meeting Liam prior to the event.
Come to me - no me, no me first!
Folks enjoying the Highlands
A few close friends got "Back Corral Passes" to experience a Highland "Rock Star" moment.