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Valencia County kids get court’s OK to show goats at State Fair

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Two Valencia County youngsters showing goats at the New Mexico State Fair this year took an unconventional – and litigious – road to get there.

According to court documents, Jennifer Otero sent in the required DNA samples for her 9-year-old son’s and 13-year-old daughter’s market goats and pigs several days after the June 15 deadline.

Later, the fair notified her the goats would not be accepted for competition due to the samples being sent in late. Upon inquiring further about the eligibility of the pigs, the fair acknowledged it had failed to notify them of the pigs’ status, and decided to let the pigs into the show.

So Otero went to court, claiming the fair arbitrarily rejected the goats while accepting the pigs past the deadline.

On Thursday, a state district court in Valencia County granted Otero’s application for a restraining order prohibiting the State Fair from keeping the children from entering the animals into the livestock show, but did not rule that the state fair had acted arbitrarily or capriciously.

Joseph Holloway, general counsel for the fair, said they would accept the decision, but will be more explicit in explaining deadlines next year.

“We still think it penalizes everyone who entered the show and followed the rules,” he said.

Otero will also pay a penalty to the fair.