Haywood cowboys round up escaped cow on I-40

Mar. 17—A team of teenage brothers in Haywood County known as wrangling champions on the national rodeo circuit saved the day as a renegade cow took to I-40 outside Canton Monday evening.

"The boys had the time of their life. It was like going to Disneyland for them," said their father, Zac Guy of Bethel. "It's not often you get to have a rodeo on Interstate 40."

The Guy family received a call from the Western North Carolina Livestock Market during a family dinner on Monday. The Guy brothers — Tucker, Walker and Parker — are the go-to trio for lending a rope whenever livestock escape from the market. When the call came in, the brothers sprang into action.

"In less than 20 minutes the horses were loaded, and they were off," said Zac Guy.

Traversing harsh terrain through wooded areas, briar patches and 30-foot drops, the brothers pursued the cow onto I-40 between exits 31 and 33, Zac Guy said.

The N.C. Highway Patrol and two semi-trucks blocked off the section of the highway for the boys' protection, but there were several "near misses" with motorists.

"There were some close calls," said Zac Guy. "At one point, the cow jumped the median, crossing into oncoming traffic. My son jumped over the median on horseback right behind it."

The proud father said his sons work well together due to their continuous roping practice for the competitive rodeo circuit.

"Walker is the one who finally roped the cow, but Tucker was the one down in the briars who pushed it up his way," said Zac Guy. Meanwhile, "Parker was on the road, helping stop traffic."

The Highway Patrol had their rifles ready, but the boys managed to save the day without any bloodshed.

Eldest brother Tucker Guy explained that this was business as usual for the three, sometimes employing their dogs to help aid in the hunt for rogue animals.

"It looks like a big deal, but we do this a lot," said Tucker Guy. "We just try to get the job done and we just happened to end up on the Interstate this time."

The three will continue to answer calls regarding wayward animals, tracking and returning them to the market. According to their father, the boy's new motto after the adventure is "You call, we haul," no matter the location.

The boys' passion for the sport began around six years ago when a friend of the family introduced them to competitive team roping. As competitive team ropers, Tucker, the eldest is world champion in the sport, with Walker ranking No. 1 and youngest Parker right behind at No. 2. The three travel all over the South with the circuit and practice daily on their property.

Though most may think the outrageous adventure is something out of a Spaghetti Western, Tucker said, for the Guy brothers, "It's just another day on the job."