Bluegrass, the world-record-holding longhorn, was sold Friday night at the first auction of longhorns in the Fort Worth Stockyards in more than 20 years.
Supporters of Fort Worth’s Herd had hoped that Bluegrass might join the daily cattle drive, a big tourist draw in the Stockyards.
Instead, he is moving to Oklahoma.
It took about five minutes for John Viskup, president and CEO of Victory Energy Operations, to make the winning bid of $49,000 for Bluegrass, whose horn span is a little more than 10 feet and who weighs 1,840 pounds.
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Bluegrass was the first steer in the ring in the Auction Barn in the Stockyards. Forty-nine other longhorns were sold later to a packed house, with hundreds bidding by internet and by phone, according to Hudson and Valentine Enterprises, which is conducting the two-day auction.
Fifty longhorns will be sold Saturday. The event is sponsored by the Stockyards Heritage development group.
Bluegrass’ new home will be the Viskup Family Ranch in Owasso, north of Tulsa. Viskup said Bluegrass will just “hang out” on the ranch. The family, he said, started a longhorn business a couple of months ago, and he came to the auction specifically to bid on Bluegrass.
The longhorn’s first outing could be to the Oklahoma State University game against the University of Texas Longhorns in Stillwater today, Viskup said.
Bluegrass was sold by Lazy J Longhorns in Greenleaf, Kan.
In July when the auction was announced, the steer’s horn span measured 119.5 inches. Before the auction Friday, his horns were measured again, and the tape read 121 1/16 inches, said Joe Sedlacek, owner of the Lazy J.
His world-record status was determined by Guinness World Records.
Hoping to raise money to buy Bluegrass, the Fort Worth Herd started a GoFundMe online account in July. But only $2,000 was pledged by 22 donors. Bidding on Bluegrass started at $20,000.
The money collected will go instead to pay costs of the Herd, said Kristin Jaworski, trail boss of the Herd, which is sponsored by the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau.
“It just didn’t happen,” Jaworski said. “He’s beautiful. We’re grateful he’s here.”
T Bar W Ranch in Mineola in East Texas has donated two, 8-month-old steers named Chisholm and Goodnight to the Herd, Jaworski said.
Sedlacek, who traveled to Fort Worth with his wife, Stephanie, and their children, said he was sad to see 10-year-old Bluegrass go. He’s raised him for five years.
“I was hoping he’d break the record one day,” Sedlacek said of Bluegrass’ horns. He said he found the steer on Craigslist and bought him from an owner in Kentucky. Bluegrass was born in Utah.
“I love these big steers,” Sedlacek said. “Not many people collect big steers like this.”