Young man realizes dream at Darke County Fair


GREENVILLE — Matt Strickland’s dream came true Thursday morning at the Great Darke County Fair when he had the opportunity to show a Nubian goat in the open class.

Strickland, 30, has Down’s Syndrome and indicated it was a lifelong dream of his to show goats, and good friend Christine Hill made it possible by arranging his participation in the open competition.

Hill, an independent provider for multiple handicapped people, said Strickland lives down the road from one of her clients in the Arcanum area when he approached her about the idea.

“For the last year and a half, Matt said he wanted to show goats,” Hill said.

The goat he showed in the ring came from Bobby Spitler’s dairy goats, and Spitler said his son, Cole, gave Matt some pointers before he went into the ring.

“I’ve known him a long time,” said Bobby Spitler of Matt. “He watches a lot of goat showing on YouTube. My son helped him with it this morning.”

Matt must have taken heed, because the judge, Karen Smith, told the audience that Matt answered every question correctly that she asked of him, before she handed him a blue ribbon for his efforts.

Matt was also expected to show again in another class later on.

It was evident that the Nubian was not co-operative in the ring, but someone in the audience was heard to have said, “but Matthew is patient.”

Nevertheless, Matt was satisfied with his endeavor.

“I am loving it,” said Matt, son of Dale and Debbie Clark “It was easy for me.”

Why did he choose to show goats?

“Because they’re easy and smart,” he said.

His friends from Your Happy Place planned to be there to cheer for him.
Down’s Syndrome doesn’t keep him from showing goats

By Linda Moody

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This writer may be reached at 937-569-4315. Follow her on Facebook and join the conversation and get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to

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