What an incredibly beautiful animal! Notable for its horn that can, as we learned at the Red McComb cattle auction, stretch to 100 inches from tip to tip. Prized for horn length, upward twist and unique coloring, they are synonymous with the University of Texas and thereby the Great State of Texas. Their size is staggering and it is something to behold as they navigate through the pens and runs to the stage. They are known as gentle and intelligent beasts – despite being intimidating in size and presence. Beautiful to watch, I found myself enchanted.
I have come to understand that they neared extinction as a result of intensive crossbreeding and were rescued by the US government and a group of devoted cattlemen. Through the years this has evolved into the Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America. Today, they are prized for their genetic diversity valuable in meeting the needs of a shifting world and scarce land availability. They are easy to breed, easy to calve, disease resistant, and can forage on sparse ranges.
That is all well and good. For my money, I will remember rounding the corner as we made our way up the long and winding driveway to our hosts home. It was pitch dark… a dark not often experienced as the night sky falls victim to light pollution from Urban and Suburban sprawl. We came upon John’s herd moving slowly across the road. The contrast from the headlights stretched across their bodies contrasted against the night sky was staggeringly beautiful.