South Knoxville Alliance plans goat-based contest

Betsy PickleFeature, South Knox

You’ve seen their adorable videos. Now see them in person and even run around with them!


No, we’re not talking about the latest boy band. We’re talking goats, people. Cute goats. Funny goats. Athletic goats. Curious goats. Nibbling goats.

(For those of you of a certain age, sorry, but Dr. Goat will not make an appearance.)

Goats are coming to South Knoxville Sunday, and you can get up close and personal thanks to the South Knoxville Alliance’s Run With the Goats, hosted by STAR, the Shangri-La Therapeutic Academy of Riding, 3312 Tipton Station Road.

Run With the Goats is a race that combines speed with skill – or maybe just luck. Participation is open to age 10 and up. Humans will be paired with goat partners for a fun frolic.

The first part of the event has the humans run across a field to a station where they can pick up food for the goats. The food will be an incentive for the goats to make their way through an obstacle course inside the STAR arena.

SKA secretary Elizabeth Sherrod calls the run “a unique event.”

“One of our board members, Kathryne Ogrod, came up with the idea,” says Sherrod. “As far as we know, it’s not been done in Knoxville before.”

The goats will be provided by the Little Ponderosa Zoo in Clinton. They are not trained; no one will have an advantage, Sherrod says.

The forecast for Sunday is sunny, but even if it rains, aside from the run for the feed, the event takes place under cover in the arena. That’s where the obstacle course will be.

“You will have, I think, six obstacles – things like a seesaw,” she says. “So your job is to get your goat with your feed on the seesaw so it will walk across the seesaw and it moves. We have bales of hay; your job is to get your goat to climb your bales of hay, up one side and down the other.”

The course also includes agility cones and jumping. Racers get points for their performance, and the first one to finish in eight minutes will win that heat. Medals will go to the first-, second- and third-place winners for the day.

For those under 10, there will be a petting area to interact with dwarf goats. Admission for that is $10.

For spectators, the cost is $5 per car.

Registration is available online through Saturday for $30. Day-of registration is $35.

Food and beverages will be sold by Kona Ice, Knox Dogs and Village Bakery. SKA and STAR will split the proceeds. STAR plans to use the funds raised for its horse-riding programs. Sherrod says SKA will use theirs for an advertising project to help promote the small businesses of the South Knoxville area.

Info: southknoxvillealliance.org and South Knoxville Alliance on Facebook

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