Parker County Today May 2016 - Page 82

our stories: PAT HAMILTON Kids, Cattle and Making It Count MAY 2016 PA R K E R C O U N T Y T O D AY BY ABIGAIL GIEGER PHOTO BY STEVE SCHILLIO Parker County is known for its involvement in the Rodeo community. As the “Cuttin’ Horse Capital of the World,” it is no surprise when we find that a pillar of our community has been involved in the rodeo scene for going on 14 years. Pat Hamilton, president of Plains Capital Bank, has been serving as a rodeo superintendent since his friend Bob Glenn, a fellow superintendent, asked him if he’d help out. “They were expanding the breeds over there and needing some more superintendents so he asked me, ‘would you like to do this?’” Hamilton said with a smile. “And I said ‘well, sure!’ I’ve been around livestock most of my life.” As superintendents, Pat Hamilton, Bob Glenn and Mike Sands serve as a sort of traffic control. “It’s kind of a babysitting job, actually,” Hamilton said. “We check in cattle and direct them to the stalls that they’re assigned to and then help them [contestants] if they need something or if something breaks or busts; we get that fixed for them and then on show day we are in the ring with the judge and help him tag up scores as he picks six places.” Usually Hamilton works with Sands and together they work with three different breeds. “We do the Brafords, Braunvieh, and now the Beefmasters. So we have three different shows we’re responsible for,” Hamilton explained. “So that means we have three breeds of cattle to check in, accommodate if they have needs or whatever, and get those taken care of. We’re in the ring with them and we set up their classes as well and make sure we get the right entry number in the right spot as they’re coming into the ring so the judge can judge them appropriately.” They start their jobs in the middle of January and usually are down working the stock show for an entire week. From that Friday to the following Wednesday, Hamilton and his fellow superintendents are pretty busy, but he doesn’t seem to mind. “My favorite part, I guess, is the people — watching the kids grow up and watching them become responsible. These cattle take a lot of time and dedication,” Hamilton said. “And for the most part these kids will be hands on. They’re feeding, they’re bathing them [their animals] once or twice a day themselves, getting them to show shape, and it teaches them responsibility. They account for all their feed, they keep up with their costs and they know what’s profitable and what’s not.” 80 A rodeo superintendent gives us the scoop on volunteering at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo He also explained that when the kids work in groups they learn even more, “especially with 4H or the FFA kids. There are maybe five to eight in a group and they all have a common bond and that’s raising these cattle. It gives them a sense of belonging to a common cause. They really get an education in responsibility, respect, and manners, just by taking care of an animal that’s dependent upon them.” Through the years Hamilton has seen a great many things and he nearly couldn’t pin down the most interesting thing he’d seen. One of those stories included when a few calves got out into the arena, and one who escaped nearly as far as University [Drive]. “She got caught before she got there but just got away and we didn’t get the gates closed on time and she got out onto the outer grounds,” he recalled. But there are also the stories with which you could be inspired. “This little girl, I think she showed once or twice, but she showed her animal with a walking crutch, she had a disabled leg,” Hamilton explained. “She wasn’t that old, maybe 10 or 11, and she was showing in a 4H group. She was pulling her animal and just striding right along with her crutch too. Kind of makes you appreciate her overcoming those odds and still doing what she really wanted to do. She just had so much heart.” Working the rodeo he tends to see familiar faces every year and quite a few come from Parker County, such as Bob Tallman, who is the rodeo announcer and resides in Poolville. Considering how popular 4H is in Parker County, Hamilton gets to see both children and families grow as they compete throughout the years. “It’s kind of neat to see those young kids grow up. We catch them at 10 years and older and we’ll see them come back every year till high school and then they’re gone off to college. You kind of get to watch them grow up. You learn the family, learn the kids year after year and it’s a lot of fun.” Having cattle of his own, Hamilton has seen a few things in his time volunteering. Not only has he learned about those that participate, but he has also noticed he sees things a bit differently when he looks at his own herd. “We had Braford cattle…I stayed with commercial because the dollars were a little less, but it just made me kind of look back at the cows we had at the time,” he said. “I could see a little bit of better breeding over there and I can