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A man of many talents

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Throughout his life, Dave Kidd has been a farrier, an EMT, scuba diver, gunfighter, truck driver, raced cars and a team roper.

"I think someone would say I like adrenaline," the 55-year-old said.

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Kidd's personality could also be described when he took up scuba diving in 1984.

"I wasn't content just getting my open water certification," he said. "I wanted to go as far as I could.

"I've had no regrets in my life. I've met a lot of wonderful people and had a good time."

Farrier

Kidd has been a farrier, a specialist who trims horses' feet , since 1971.

The love of horses can be drawn back to his parents, who both grew up on a farm.

"Dad was a horseshoer before he met mom," Kidd said. "Mom did everything she could to discourage us from horses because she lost a relative due to a horse."

Her goal failed, as Dave and wife Beth moved out of St. Paul, where the two grew up, to Beldenville in 1979, for one purpose.

"We're looking for land," he said. "I had a dream of raising horses."

He explained his love of the animal.

"Their intelligence, their willingness to do things for humans," he said. "When you ride them, you feel like you're part of the animal.

"They're so friendly. When they see me in the yard, they all whinny over to the fence to get petted."

Kidd became a full-time farrier in 1990.

"Trimming isn't as simple as it looks," he said. "I went through a lot of trials and tribulations."

He explained horses put a lot of stress on their front feet, due to their body shape. It's even worse for wild horses, as Kidd explained sometimes they travel up to 50 miles for food and water.

He added he's the only horse rider in his family. Dave and Beth have been married 33 years and have two children, Laurie, 27, and Alison, 14.

Gunfighting

Kidd explained that, one time, Lonnie Kolmen, a friend, took him to a place outside of Boyceville called Wisconsin Old West Shooters (WOWS).

Upon arrival, Kidd saw people of all ages, dressing up in garb from the Civil War era to the 1900s, and a shooting range that looked like a typical Main Street--bank, sheriff's department, general store, church and saloon.

What he then saw was a competition, as targets would be put in those buildings and those involved would try to nail all the targets possible.

Kidd explained that, after the first encounter, he was hooked.

"It's not a competition between people," he said. "It's more of a competition against yourself as you try to do better than what you did the previous month."

Along with wearing clothes from that era, Kidd said, the guns--shotguns, pistols and rifles--are also from the period.

"I've never participated in a sport before," Kidd explained, "in which the competitor will call an error on themselves without anyone seeing it."

Kidd, who is now a lifetime member, said the number one goal is accuracy, then speed.

"There is no perfect score," he said. "Because if you nail all the targets, the goal would then be to do it faster than you did previously."

Kidd was also amazed by the competitors' generosity.

"There's an officer that will coach you through it to do the best you can and then he'll take the stage later and try to beat you," he said. "It's amazing."

EMT

Laurie was an EMT in Prescott in 2005 when she informed her father Ellsworth was starting a First Response Program.

"I didn't know if I'd be able to do it due to the blood and guts," he said.

He passed the test to become certified and was surprised.

"Most of the work was medical," he said. "It's not what I imagined it to be. No guts, little blood."

Kidd added certifications in basic EMT, along with being an IV technician. However, he stated he's not done. He wants to be a paramedic, but he said he will give up his farrier duties first, due to the training involved.

"It's a way of giving back to the community," he said. "I've made my living through the community, now I'm paying them back."

Kidd estimates he spends about a 100 hours a month working for the Ellsworth Area Ambulance Service.

"It's a great bunch of people that volunteer their time and work here," he said. "Everyone's committed."

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Jason Schulte
Jason Schulte has been with the Herald since 2006. He covers County government and anything else that happens in Pierce County on a daily basis.
(715) 273-4334
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