Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Texas Longhorns (Part 1)

Did you know that the Guinness World Record holder for 'the largest horn spread on domestic cattle' belongs to a Texas Longhorn? Okay so maybe that isn't much of a surprise considering the breed's name. However did you know that the record holder isn't in Texas as you might think but in Australia, right near Charters Towers QLD in fact.
This weekend I had a much cherished long weekend and set off for Charters Towers. Now Charters or The Towers as we call it is my closest larger town. It is blessed with many pubs, a few fast food franchises, a Woolworth, some Food Works and a Target Country among many other interesting local shops. After being out on the station for 6 weeks you can imagine the excitement I got arriving in town. You can also imagine my happiness at arriving after 3.5hrs in the car (no towns between the station and Charters). Travel like this is normal when living on a station or in a remote area and no one blinks an eye at doing a 7hr return trip in one day to do the groceries or an 8hr return trip to go in to school ... well we don't anyway. Obviously we like food. The most exciting part however was that I got to spend the weekend with Mr Sparky.

So now we get back to the Longhorn part. On Friday morning Mr Sparky and I headed to the Texas Longhorn Wagon Tours and Safari. Yes, I know what you are thinking why would someone who lives and works on a cattle station want to go to another on their weekend off. Well that is easy to answer to learn new things, to see new things, to have fun and to take photos. It was well worth it because we had a ball.
At this time of year it is too hot for the horses to do the wagon tours so we headed out on Safari. This is sounding very multicultural now with Texas Longhorns (originated from four cattle breeds found in Portugal and Spain) and a Safari (I think Africa, do you?) all while still in Australia. This very multicultural and educational tour was great fun and with wonderful company. Our guides Michael and Lynda were friendly and great to talk to and as an added bonus Michael's tall tales and jokes were a blast.
I see horns a fair bit around here as you would have noticed from previous photos. At ... home of the Texas Longhorn Wagon we had certainly come to the right place to see horns as they are 'the horniest place in Charters Towers'. They certainly lived up to that slogan as we saw plenty of horns ranging from the very long to the undeniably impressive and exceptionally long horns that belong to JR the Guinness World Record holder. His extraordinary set of horns exceed 2.77m. I don't think I would want something that big hanging off the sides of my head. I want to know whether they ever get sick of lugging those horns around?
I loved seeing the variety of horns and colours. There really are hundreds of different shaped and sized horns even on a single breed. The cattle's array of colouring comes from the fact that they are made up of four different breeds as mentioned before.
My favourite for colouring and pattern was Clyde. I love the almost spider web effect he has going on his head. Not only that but Clyde was a bit of a gentleman, a poser and a showman.
In the personality stakes for friendliness however Reba comes out on top. She loved the attention, the treats and the scratches. She even found the camera extremely fascinating getting up close and personal for some macro photography. Mind you we had to remember to watch out for those horns as she looked around curiously.
Just to finish up here are some photos taken by Michael and passed on of Mr Sparky, myself looking like tourists with Reba.

 And last of all a final photo of the big guy himself JR.

 A huge thanks goes out to Michael and Lynda for their wonderful hospitality. It really is a small world apparently.
Also a huge congrats on winning the North Queensland Tourism Awards - People's Choice Award for 2012. You most definitely deserve it.
You can visit their website here or facebook page here


  1. Now those horns put my bling earings to shame.

  2. I think they put everything to shame including the horns here. They sure are impressive. What if we highjscked a beast and blinged the horns up now that would be a sight.

  3. Might be a bit heavy on the old earlobes. But then again stretched ear lobes are currently in fashion

  4. Yes would be a bit so how about we let the longhorn keep the horns on while they are blinged.


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