‘It’s about raising kids’: Sidwell family learns lessons about showing, growing as people at National Western Stock Show | TheFencePost.com

‘It’s about raising kids’: Sidwell family learns lessons about showing, growing as people at National Western Stock Show

Bridgett Weaver

DENVER — Tyrel Sidwell's dad always said you can't choose your kids' friends but you can choose who they spend their time around. That's why Sidwell's children are involved with 4-H and showing goats.

That's why Sidwell's children are involved with 4-H and showing goats.

The Eaton, Colo., family was at National Western Stock Show's market goat show Jan. 13, in which two of Sidwell's kids — Jordan, 11, and Kara, 9, — were showing off their hard work.

Both kids had goats that placed in the mid-range of their categories, but that didn't deter them. They learned more for next year.

"That was the goal of coming," Sidwell said. "We knew we weren't going to be competitive, but we were here to learn and grow."

Jordan and Kara both agreed they learned Wednesday the importance of working with the animals at home.

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"Working at home helps you at the show," Kara said. Jordan added: "You win it at the show by working at home."

Sidwell said they came away with a lot of thoughts for how to do better next year.

"When you're showing with some of the best in the country you pick up a lot in how they fit them, how they get them ready," he said. "And how you feed a goat. It's a major misconception that a goat will eat just anything."

The Sidwell kids were among few from Weld County who competed in the goat show. Larry Hooker, goat superintendent at the show and a Weld 4-H supervisor, said there were less than 10 kids there from the area.

He said it's likely that a lot of kids don't enter the National Western competitions because of when they take place. With school going on and a lot of sports in season, it's hard to get the time off. Plus there's always weather to consider in a Colorado January.

Nonetheless, Hooker was happy with the show itself.

"I liked the judge," he said. "I thought he was very thorough."

It makes it easier for outsiders to follow the competition when there's a good judge like there was Wednesday, he said.

"If they're consistent with the type of animal they're choosing, then that works," Hooker said. "People can follow. He did a great job and knew what he liked.

There were 72 goats shown from 17 different states. The grand champion title went to Aspen Martin of Mason, Texas, and the reserve title went to Carly Castello from Tracy, Calif. No Weld kids placed in the top two of their classes.

"It's a tough show to win. When they get to the top seven or eight animals, it's kind of like splitting hairs. It's little things that make a difference," Hooker said. "With so many involved, it's not a shoo-in just because you're from Colorado."

The Sidwells agree that it's tough but fair. Although they're there more for the sport of it, they would like to have a grand champion eventually.

Sidwell and his wife Kaycee said they'll be back next year, armed with everything they're learning now.

"It teaches them responsibility and they can make lifelong friends here," Kaycee said.

Most of all, they want the kids to meet people.

"It's about raising kids," Sidwell said. "At the end of the day, it's about putting our kids around the type of people we want them raised around." ❖

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