Maddox Horner — Continuing the family tradition his own way!

At 11 years old Maddox Horner has proven a force to be reckoned with in the Boer goat show ring. Maddox comes from a fourth- generation livestock family in South Central Illinois. Three of his great grandfather’s raised cattle with the following generations heavily focusing on cattle, hogs and sheep. Showing livestock has long played a part

in the family’s lifestyle. Maddox’s older brother, Cole, successfully showed all three of the aforementioned species. Thus, it came as a great surprise to the Horner family when Maddox began the plea for his first Boer goat. It all started on the ride home from his first ever livestock judging contest in 2018 at Lake Land College in Mattoon, Ill. Maddox judged a class of commercial does and on the way home from the contest expressed the de- sire to make his first 4-H project market goats. “As a family, we desperately tried to talk him out of it as we had no experience raising or feeding that particular species,” said Maddox’s dad, Brad. “But if you know Maddox, you will understand that when he puts his mind to something, he is very deter- mined. So, as they say, the journey began and we have never looked back.” At this time, Maddox’s father had been judg- ing market goats at the state and national level, so the family decided they would give it a whirl and figure it out. The family began their research on programs across the country and landed with purchasing their first wether and doe from Hummel Livestock in Illinois in the spring of 2019.

Maddox quickly realized that feeding and working goats is far different than any- thing he had ever experienced with the other species. It was much harder than anticipated! However, it was the challenge that made Maddox work that much harder.

The young showman committed and dedicated long days and nights in the barn. It was often that he would leave the baseball field to come straight home and work goats. All of that patience and persistence

22 Goat Rancher | January 2021

Maddox Horner is thriving in the Boer goat showring!

worked in his favor and made for a great first experience.

His wether and doe both won the county fair and then went on to be the Grand Champion Commercial Doe and Reserve Champion Lightweight wether at the Illinois State Fair. Maddox was then ready to tackle his first national show and took the wether to the American Royal where he stood 3rd


class. He was officially hooked! With all of the frustrations and changes that Covid 19 brought to 2020, Maddox found refuge in his Boer goat project once again. With show goats in the barn, Maddox and his younger brother, Maverik, would hurry through their remote learning at school and b-line it outside for the more important tasks of walking, washing and tracking goats. Even though the shows may have looked and felt a bit differently this year, the Horner family was very thankful to have the opportunity to exhibit at several shows this summer and fall. Some of Maddox’s 2020 highlights include: Reserve Grand Land of Lincoln Market Goat and 4th

overall commer- cial doe at the Illinois Jr. Livestock Expo, Re-

serve Grand Champion Market Goat at the Illinois State Fair and Class winning wether at the American Royal. “We still have a lot to learn as a family in regards to feeding and showing Boer goats, but with Maddox’s passion for the in- dustry and the respect we have found with the people who are a part of it, the goat proj- ects at Horner Show Stock will continue far into the future,” said Brad. n

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