A Texas teen who lost his dad to brain cancer was left speechless after his steer was bid up at a Fort Worth livestock show to more than $20,000.
This ain't no bull.
Fourteen-year-old Wyatt Blaylock took home a hefty check for his steer at the annual junior livestock sale in Fort Worth, Texas, even though his was the 278th animal shown of 283 at the sale. Credit his fortune to the generosity of locals, who were moved by the boy's trying life at home.
Wyatt's 1,194-pound steer fetched $20,895 — a whopping amount for being one of 12 10th-place finishers in the European crossbred show, the final event Saturday at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo.
The huge payday for the unassuming teen was courtesy of the Stock Show Syndicate, a group of area businesspeople who support the Fort Worth Stock Show by buying the livestock of young exhibitors in 4-H and FFA clubs. Syndicate members decided to bid up the amount for Wyatt's steer after learning his father died of brain cancer last year, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
Gary Ray, past chairman of the syndicate and active member, said he and Kim Owens, a regional manager for Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House, met Wyatt after last year's livestock sale. That's when an ag (agricultural) teacher told them that Wyatt's dad had been diagnosed with brain cancer.
Wyatt's father died in April, leaving boy to tend to the cattle ranch in Adkins, a small town south of San Antonio, all by himself.
"He's a pretty remarkable young man, he was the only child living with his dad. His parents were divorced and he was taking care of the cattle and his dad and going to school at same time," Ray told MSN News on Monday.
On Saturday, members of the syndicate collaborated to deliver Wyatt a surprise at the annual livestock sale.
The steers in his group were bringing $4.50 to $6.50 a pound, and bidding on his animal started at $4 a pound. It ended at an eye-popping $17.50 a pound, for a total of $20,895, as the small crowd still left in the arena cheered and applauded, according to the Star-Telegram.
Owens made the winning bid. The steer was bought in the honor of Don Weeks and Frank Neve, former chairmen of the Stock Show Syndicate.
"Wyatt's a good kid and this is what's important." Owens told the Star-Telegram.
Wyatt was floored. "I don't know what to say," Wyatt told the newspaper.
Ray said the 14-year-old had no idea he'd be the target of generosity from some quasi-strangers touched by his trying circumstances.
"He was speechless. He didn’t know what to say. He's a very quiet young man. He doesn’t have a whole lot to say anyway, but I think this just knocked him down," Ray told MSN News.
"He couldn't believe it. He did give thanks to his dad for everything he's taught him. He teared up pretty good."
Wyatt, who has since moved in with his mother, is saving the money to pay for college. The teen hopes to attend Texas A&M University.
"He's got a few more years to show animals," Ray said.
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