Crawford, ‘hula-hoop cow’ win triple cow crown

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 29, 2005

The Dairy Cattle Show was delayed by an hour Friday, but Garret Crawford did not waste that time. He taught his heifer Coco a trick.

"I saw it with the llama show and Laura Jane (Murphy) asked, 'will she fit through that?'" the 11-year-old from Arabia said.

What he had seen was a llama going through a hula-hoop.

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So he set the hoop on the ground, had Coco step into it, picked it up taking it to her back feet, then had her step out of it.

"She's bigger than the llamas and I put her through it," Crawford said with an ear-to-ear grin on his face. "She had it within three tries, and she already knew how to lower her head."

Coco knew her cue when it came to showing judge Debbie Snyder her newly learned trick.

"I thought that was amazing," Snyder said. "He said 'my cow goes through a hula-hoop.' I thought 'there is no way,' but she did it and it was amazing. We raise dairy cattle and I've never seen that before."

Crawford and Coco were the only participants in the show, so it only makes sense to have fun with it.

"He enjoys his cow and I respect that," Snyder said.

She even gave Coco the nickname "Hula-hoop cow" when she announced her as the winner.

Crawford has developed a bond with Coco.

He said when she was younger, granted she is only one year and seven months old, she would run at him and buck but always stopped just inches away from him.

Crawford has been showing cattle for three years, having also shown beef breeder calves this year.

Crawford said he will never switch to another animal either.

"It's fun walking the cattle and taking care of them," he said. "They're calm and they're not as stubborn as goats and pigs and lambs. Well, I don't deal with animals that eat wood."

Crawford went home with the first-place awards for dairy heifer, dairy cattle showmanship and dairy cattle skillathon.