DOC HARRIS":28ptisiq said:
Rustler9, Ryan, Running Arrow Bill-
...and all of you other Longhorn breeders on the Forum. This thread is very interesting. I have had a little experience with Longhorns in the past, and at that time the breeder's were just beginning to veer off and attempt to go their separate ways insofar as the characteristics of the Longhorn breed were concerned. It seems that with the L-Horns, the breeders just can't stand prosperity - the same divergent attitudes that seem to strike EVERY breed sooner or later. They can't leave well enough alone insofar as the ORIGINAL characteristics are concerned. They were designed be nice to serve a specific purpose in a specific area of the World, and they seem to do that very well - UNTIL man begins to think that he can CHANGE God's purposes - - NOT improve upon them!
I don't know anything about your Association regulations, but it seems to me that when you select JUDGES for your shows you can establish some 'ground rules' for what you wish them to emphasize and feature in their judging protocols. If the Judges whom you select for the shows don't wish to capitulate to your particular style or type of Longhorn 'Traits and Characteristics' which you desire to specify - - just thank them politely - and use some Judge who WILL concede to your wishes. If other L-Horn breeders want to feature 'Blocky, chuggy Terminal Meat Wagons' for their particular corner of the breed - fine! But you should have the privilege and right to raise what you wish for the reasons you choose. You are not obligated to sit back and let 'interlopers' (if you will) dictate to you what you want to raise and the purposes for which you raise them!
Just my Politically Conservative Dogmatic Opinion concerning Freedom of Actions and Will!
Thank you. I agree with this completely
. When people ask me if I am going to a show, I always ask them who the judge is. That is one of, if not the biggest determining factors of us going to a show. I know what the ranch I am employed by is striving for, as far as the type of cattle is concerned, and it makes no sense at all for us to go to a show that has a judge that has different ideals for the Longhorn breed in mind. If the judge really prefers big horns, there is no way around it, our program is not going to do well. So there is no need for us to go to a show to get buried. HOWEVER, I love the fact that each show has the RIGHT to pick a judge who DOES place a heavy emphasis on horn. Just because I don't raise animals that excel in that trait, or I don't agree with it, does NOT mean that they are wrong. Its funny/sad/a shame when a Longhorn breeder touts the diversity and adaptability of the breed as one of its strongest traits, then runs down/bashes/belittles another breeder for raising a style of Longhorns that is different than theirs. "Freedom of Actions and Will" not only make this country GREAT but also makes the Texas Longhorn breed great. Breeders are FREE to breed animals that fit their ideals, goals, environment, market, etc...
I have a degree in Animal Production, I feel that I have a pretty good grasp of the functions and purpose of cattle. The breed of cattle I raise is Texas Longhorn. THEIR HISTORY IS BEEF. NOT HORN GROWTH.
That is what got them where they are today. They were adaptable animals that were able to make the trip from Texas to the north on the cattle drives. YES, I grant their horns helped them survive, but so did their immune system and instincts. Now that they are not out on the range or in the wild there is a less of a need
for their horns. Now, I'm not saying they are not an important of their history. I am not saying they are not an important part of their marketability and future. However, it is a FACT that their survival is not dependent upon their horns. If you look in past issues of industry magazines from as recent as the 1980's you will find that the Long-Horned bulls were in the mid to low 40"s. Texas Lin was thought of as one of the longest horned bulls of his time (late 70's into the 80's) and he matured out at 42". What I am getting at, is LOOOONNNGGG horns is NOT
the history/heritage/past of the Texas Longhorn breed. That is something that has been really pushed the last 20 years or so. The history of the Texas Longhorn is 750 - 1000 pound cows with 30" horns that could survive on very little, raise a healthy calf in rough environments, and do that for 20 years. Trying to tout LONG horns as their history is INACCURATE.