Want a longhorn as a pet?

By | Category: Travel destinations

When you see those cows in western movies being herded for cattle drives across the dusty praries, they are longhorns. Aptly named with long spikey, twisting horns they look as they could do some damage if annoyed. But how would you fancy one as a pet? Or a few? Or a dozen or so?
Well, a lady in Texas called Anne Street Skipper has them as pets. On her ranch, Wildcatter Ranch, of 1,500 acres it is the Aberdeen Angus herd that contributes to the money not the longhorns. Yet the longhorn is what we think of as the typical cow in Texas.

But Anne’s ranch isn’t just a working ranch. Like farmers in our countries, it pays to diversify. Here a farmer might have a couple of rooms to rent out on a B&B basis. He might even have a couple of cottages on the land. In Texas they do things on a slightly bigger scale as I am sure you’ve heard. Annie has 34 bedrooms made up of 16 cabin suites, 16 rooms and two guest homes. It’s not quite your average British of Irish farmhouse offering. And she also has a bar and a steakhouse on her property. “So what are you,” I asked, a rancher or an attraction or a hotel?” Without pausing for breath she just said she was all three.

Wildcatter Ranch is about ninety minutes from Fort Worth so for British visitors its easy to get to you as we have direct flights into Dallas-Fort Worth. That might explain why 70% of all her guests are from overseas. And why just about half of those are from the UK.

Jay her head-wrangler, retired a few years ago at the ripe old age of 36 from rodeo work. But rodeos are still in the veins of Texans. One ranch will still compete with a neighbouring one to see who can tie a steer better. The old west hasn’t gone; its just re-invented itself with luxurious rooms, top-class restaurants and pet cows with viscious looking horns!

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