OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA — 2013 marked his first ever trip to the Oklahoma Youth Expo, widely advertised as the worlds largest youth livestock show.
Seth Tucker brought his yearling Hereford, ‘Buddy’, to the Fairgrounds with no idea of what to expect.
“Did you think you had a pretty good animal here,” asks a visitor? “I don’t know,” he answers. “I thought he was okay.”
Seth brought his parents Jerry and Val Tucker from Lindsay, and his little brother too.
Until Wednesday morning he was just like the more than 7 thousand hopeful kids and nervous animals who come every year to compete.
Cattle judge Jim Williams has seen just about everything at shows around the world.
On that Wednesday morning the website Stock Show Live had a camera pointed his way as he looked over the Class III Herefords.
Seth and Buddy were one of the finalists when Buddy suddenly took a notion to jump on another young steer.
For a few seconds several people were in danger.
“He was getting a little riled,” recalls Seth. “And he jumped on the other calf.”
Jim says, “Seth’s steer jumped and mounted these exhibitors in the front. Both of the children fell down.”
“Was it scary,” asks the visitor? “Yeah,” says Mom.
Seth says, “It looked like the other kid got hurt so I ran to help him.”
Competitors are taught to control their animals.
Jimmy tells them to hang on even if a bomb goes off, but Seth let go to help another competitor in danger.
The camera angle is poor but Judge Jim was close enough to witness what he called an unselfish act in the midst of a heated moment.
Williams was so moved he had to grab the microphone and say something to the crowd.
“He went and got the other little boy,” said Jim to the gathering in the stands. “Did you see that? It was just instinct.”
“The main thing,” said Jim the next day, “He wasn’t thinking of win at all costs, and let me go get my steer so I can be champion or first in my class. He was more worried about helping his fellow exhibitor and we need more of that. He wasn’t worried about that blue ribbon.”
Jim insists that his judging was finished, and that Buddy and Seth winning the Class III Hereford competition had nothing to do with Seth’s heroics at the end.
Trophies gather dust. Ribbons fade, but the badge of courage shines on.