Brad Pitt strutted his stuff Thursday morning in the John Justin Arena along with fellow llamas Groucho Marx and the Lone Ranger in halter class on the first day of llama competition at the Fort Worth Stock Show Thursday.
But the biggest ovation came during the kiddie costume class (officially, the sub-junior costume class, ages 7 and under) for the only competitors, CVL Neverland Jake and 4-year-old Emily Carter.
Jake wore a royal purple outfit complete with a crown, while Emily, of Rogersville, Mo., went with her lilac princess gown and tiara.
“He was a prince in her last competition,” Emily’s father, Chris Carter, said before the competition started.
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“He’s King Jake,” Emily said. “He’s not a prince.”
Emily has been in four other costume llama events. She and King Jake last appeared as a team last fall in Iowa and this was their first Fort Worth Stock Show competition.
“She’s already outgrown one princess outfit,” Chris Carter said. “She’s very comfortable out there in the arena with him.”
King Jake is a laid-back llama.
“He works great with small kids,” Emily’s father said.
The family traveled nine hours with 11 llamas from Rogersville, a small town near Springfield, Mo.
They competed in halter and showmanship competitions, but for a few minutes on Thursday, King Jake and Emily were the headliners.
Minutes before she was to enter the arena, Emily kicked dirt and sang songs in preparation. King Jake stood in a nearby pen.
In prior competitions, Venesa Carter followed her daughter and King Jake into an arena, just as a security blanket.
“If he wanted to run, he would be able to get away from her [Emily],” Chris Carter said. “But she’s been around him enough that she would know what to do.”
In Fort Worth, Emily and King Jake walked out like royalty, but at one point the 14-month-old llama took a few quick steps back as Judge Mike Swanson of Council Bluff, Iowa, came up to them.
Emily held on and got King Jake under control.
A few minutes later, they won a blue ribbon as well as a championship ribbon that was taller than Emily.
“She did great holding on to him,” Venesa Carter said as she walked out of the arena with them. “I knew she could do it.”
The llamas return for performance competition Friday.
Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763