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Mind Me
Or don't, if you feel strongly about it
By Priti Prabhakar '04

Meet Dave and Bob. They're a pair of handsome young rogues who, with the right persuasion, could be whipped into shape. These dashing brothers could sway any female with their cocky swagger and healthy coats that would make a Botega Veneta handbag blush.

Unfortunately, you can't meet these two chaps at the local bar. Dave and Bob are a pair of 6-month-old Ayrshire calves who debuted in the 58th Annual UNH Little Royal championship on March 31 at the UNH Equine Center.

The highlight, and hoot, of the day-long event is the Premier Showman championship. The top two students who have won their respective division's animal handling contest--dairy and equine--face off to see who will be the grand champion. The catch is that they don't know in advance what species they'll be asked to herd. Mystery animals in the past have included sheep, donkeys and even chickens.

The finalists this year were Crystal Lawton '08 and Justine Morris '08. Which is where Dave and Bob came in. Unveiled as this year's mystery animals, the youngsters, yoked together at the neck, were understandably befuddled by all the fuss. They seemed to conclude that when feeling indecisive, the best course of action is to stand your ground.

The "back up" command proved to be the Gordian knot. This command, admitted Drew Conroy '86, '01G, professor of applied animal sciences, is the hardest. "The trick is to stand square in front of them," he whispered. Dave and Bob, 450 pounds apiece, stood firm for Morris but dutifully retreated for Lawton, who eventually won.

It's all in fun, says Conroy. Plus, "students get a chance to work directly with UNH animals, and to get out of the dorms and down to the barns as winter fades into spring."

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