Lexington, Ky.—Aug. 10
Most people scattered about the Walnut Ring at the Kentucky Horse Park for USEF Pony Finals have their eyes trained on the children and ponies competing, but a keen-eyed observer would note that in the shade of a large tree in the back corner of the ring lies an adorable creature of a different kind: a baby goat, in a neck tie, named Traveler.
It sounded too good to be true when word started spreading through the tent at Pony Finals that this baby goat was just lounging about next to the ring. Luckily the Chronicle has boots on the ground at Pony Finals who were able to do some hard hitting investigative goat reporting for our readers at home, and boy is this a good one.
Traveler is a two-week-old Boer goat mix his owner Cassie Walker got from her local feed store in Mississippi just a week ago.
“The store raises goats, and his mom died two days after she had him,” Walker, 27, said. “So they called me and asked if I wanted him.”
Walker has rescued and rehomed goats before, but this one she wanted to keep for herself. There was just one problem: Walker works for the live streaming service ShowNet, so she travels all over the country videoing horse shows.
“I said, ‘Well of course I want him, but I have to travel,’ and they said ‘Well he’s a baby goat,’ and I said, ‘Well I guess I have a carrier [crate] and a horse trailer I’m traveling in, so I’m on my way!’ ”
In his two-week-long goat lifetime the aptly named Traveler has already visited five states (and his first Pony Finals!) with Walker. Walker was busy videoing the ponies in the ring but generously allowed Chronicle reporter Ann Glavan to take Traveler out of his crate and for a spin around the show where he proved himself to already be a heartbreaker. If his soft little baby goat bray doesn’t make you melt, his ridiculous floppy ears and curious can-I-eat-that attitude will.
Shannon Cunneff was just strolling on by when she saw Traveler mid photo shoot and stopped to give him some love and feed him a bottle before he promptly fell asleep in her arms. Keep your eyes peeled for Traveler at Pony Finals and if you see him stop and say hello!