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Knicknack Knows She’s Good

By Jennifer Stultz

Knickknack is one of those does that knows she is good. A natural leader in the Mint*Leaf herd, owned by Julie Matthys, New Carlisle, Indiana, she is not bossy or mean, she just demands respect. Based on the many show wins and accolades awarded to Knickknack in her lifetime so far, including 2012 ADGA National Show honors, and based on the depth of her proven pedigree, the large, dark brown LaMancha doe with elf ears deserves all the respect there is to be given. (Knickknack and Matthys are gracing this issue’s cover.)

Knickknack and owner Julie Matthys

CH Willow Run Bugatti Knickknack won first place in the seven-years-and-older class and reserve best udder of breed in July at the 2012 ADGA National Dairy Goat Show in Loveland, Colo. Matthys, her owner and handler, said Knickknack’s genetic line was no stranger to national show wins.

"Her maternal granddam, GCH Singing Hills Darkstar Britny *M, was 2002 National Best Udder," Matthys said. "Her dam, Willow Run Maestro BricABrac, was the 2004 National Show 1st Place Senior Yearling, and Knickknack’s daughter, CH Mint*Leaf Cookie, was the 2010 ADGA National Show 1st Place/2nd Udder two-year-old. Also at the 2012 National Show, her maternal granddaughter Mint*Leaf Blackberry was the 1st Place/1st Udder Milking Yearling."

Knickknack has a long and storied pedigree, beginning with the interesting note that each doe in her maternal line, starting with Britny and going all the way down to Blackberry, has elf-ears. In the LaMancha breed two types of ears are allowed by breed standard, elf and gopher. The smaller gopher ears are more dominant in many genetic lines, but in Knickknack’s case, the elf ears carry through, along with many more important champion genetic traits.

My current herd of LaManchas traces back to my original herd of LaManchas from when I used the Dairy Delight herd name," Matthys said. "In the early 90s I purchased the Haute Caprine herd of LaManchas from Jim and Joan Vandergriff. Several of the animals were resold into other herds including Haute Caprine Kappa who was sold to Kathy Iager of Singing Hills. Kathy also purchased a double Anteres M. Voyager doe kid from me named Dairy-Delight Voyager Brindle. Brindle is the beginning of the Singing Hills ‘B’ line that has produced many prominent animals in the Singing Hills and Willow Run herds as well as others."

Matthys said that Bridle and Kappa are both in the pedigree of Singing Hills Biffer Bebe who is the dam of Britny, Blackrose and Bugatti, who all have descendents in the current Mint*Leaf LaMancha herd.

"Given that I had sold Kathy Iager some of the animals who became valuable in her breeding program in the 90’s, I got the call from Kathy Iager and Helen Snyder (who was caring for many of the does) when Kathy and her family were ready to sell many of their remaining LaMancha," Matthys said. "In 2007, I purchased Willow Run Bugatti Knickknack, Willow Run Pluto Taffeta, Singing Hills Taz Finale, Willow Run Sunra Creme Soda, Singing Hills Virgil Boutique and The Preference Flyer from Kathy and her family. Every one of these does currently has valuable progeny in my herd with the exception of one. I feel very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to work with these genetics and sincerely thank Kathy Iager and Helen Snyder for making it possible. I was also able to purchase two foundation does from the Willow Run herd in their dispersal. These were daughters of Britny and Venus named Willow Run Sunra Bright and Willow Run Botticelli Vertigo. Each of these does have numerous progeny in the current Mint*Leaf Herd."

Knickknack was born in 2005, the last year that Patti Dean and Billy Woodward actively bred dairy goats for the famed Willow Run herd in Ohio.

"She is a special doe in the Mint*Leaf herd having not only a wonderful personality, but being valuable genetically," Matthys said. "She has three registered son making an impact in LaMancha genetics, with two working the Mint*Leaf and Vineyard View herds in the US and one in Canada."

Knickknack came into Matthys’ dairy herd as a two-year-old five years ago. And while she brought a complete genetic package with her, Matthys’ track record of good management also propelled Knickknack to top status.

"We showed five of our does at the 2012 ADGA National Show and came away with three class winners," Matthys said. "In addition to Knickknack, our top placings included: Mint*Leaf Paisley—1st Place Senior Kid and Reserve National Junior Champion; Mint*Leaf Blackberry—1st/1st Udder Milking Yearling; CH Mint*Leaf Amaretto—4th/3rd Udder 3-Year-Old; CH Mint*Leaf Gypsy—5th place 5/6-Year-Old.

Back at home, however, Knickknack is a barn favorite by owners and herd mates alike.

"She is just very sweet," Matthys said. "She is easy to deal with as are her progeny. She and her four-year-old daughter, Cookie, can usually be seen sharing a hay feeder or laying together."

Matthys said she was already looking forward to competing with Knickknack other top Mint*Leaf dairy goats at the 2013 ADGA National Dairy Goat Show in Minnesota.

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