We said we weren't going to go, but for some reason, we really wanted to go to Denver, Colorado for the 2022 Miniature Hereford World Show at the National Western Stock Show.
We should have gone last year with Smith and Wesson, but we all know that didn't happen. I guess we just never got the 2021 disappointment out of our systems.
So, we packed our bags and loaded three cows onto the trailer for the twenty-four hour journey to Denver...in the middle of January...only to dodge a snow storm going out and another one on the way back home.
We always head out a few days early to give the cows a few days to rest and recover from the long trip, but also so that we can squeeze in a few days of "vacation" before the work really begins.
Again this year, we made our way to the top of Pikes Peak. Except, this year the Cograil construction was finally done, so we were able to ride to the top of the mountain with a different set of views.
This is only a portion of the way up the mountain, but it is the view that inspired Katharine Lee Bates to write the song America the Beautiful.
It truly is breathtaking.
Once we arrived at the Stock Show, things got pretty busy, especially since Walker had a lot of responsibilities as a Regional Ambassador.
They keep the Ambassador's busy, but Walker has made great friendships, learned how to work together as a team and really stepped up as a leader. As a family, we have had to step in to take over more responsibilities with the cows, but as a parent, it is a small sacrifice for the opportunities and skills that he is learning from this experience.
The new Royalty was crowned at the show and three of the Ambassadors (the ones in the middle) will be returning to assist the new Queen and Jr. Princess for the next year.
I love this picture for so many reasons. The Royalty and Ambassadors looked stunning in the show ring, but the best part was that they are the ones that decided on the professional dress. It wasn't the adults that pushed them. It was the youth that have pushed themselves, taken their responsibilities seriously and really improved the program. They have set the bar high and are examples for all our youth.
The professional dress sounded like a simple plan...but have you looked in the stores lately? Finding Walker's outfit was not an easy task. But...I absolutely love how handsome and professional he looks.
Isaac was not able to make the trip out with us, but flew in on Thursday morning to join us. We are always glad when our crew is complete and he was sure needed with Walker busy working check-in and the show ring.
When we signed up for the show, we knew we had some nice animals, but we didn't think we had a chance of winning anything. This is the World Show after all.
Our goal was to just not be last in the class with each of our animals. So when Autumn won her class, we breathed a sigh of relief, but were even more excited when she actually won her division.
Colt won his class and then went on to win Reserve in his division.
Autumn and Colt both had the privilege of representing 4 Wiley Farm and Ohio in the final drive.
He had a job to do.
Walker was once again a ringman for the Junior Show. He had to make sure all the cows kept moving while keeping an eye on classes. He was asked to show for a family that had multiple entries in one class and then he participated in the Senior Showmanship class.
It was jacket on...jacket off...and jacket back on.
In the Junior Show, Autumn once again won her division.
And had the privilege of lining up with the best of the best.
Kennedy claimed her title during the Junior Show as the Reserve Champion in her division.
Of course, Isaac and Walker were both in the same heat for Senior Showmanship.
But...I love to see them go head to head. What mom doesn't want a picture of both her boys in the same frame?
And Walker got the handshake as the Reserve Senior Showman.
It still amazes me that this little farm from Ohio has made it all the way to the National Western Stock Show and brought home titles every time. It is such an honor and we are very proud of the hard work and long road that we have travelled to be where we are.
When we made this sign many years ago, it was with the intention of marketing our animals in Ohio. Little did we know the miles this sign would travel and the states it would see.
There is nothing like having someone in Denver, Colorado look at you with surprise in their eyes when they know where the little town of Mount Vernon, Ohio is.
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Hello! I am Heather... the city girl turned mom to manure loving country boys. My husband and I both grew up in the city, but spent weekends visiting grandparents in the country. We are first generation farmers who learn best by almost always doing things the hard way. I hope you enjoy following along with our adventures down on the farm.