Gorgeous George -- The Barnesville Livestock Auction is every Saturday. Our great old friend Bill Farson attends every sale, if his health allows, I think he is 84. He calls me if there is some good hamburger volunteer selling. Bill called Saturday, September 13, 2014, and said there was a Longhorn steer going through the auction, did I want him to buy him. Bill said the steer was young, not over 5 years and had horn about 7 foot wide. He thought he would bring about $1 per lb. I told Bill to buy him.
Bill Farson is one of thousands of experienced cattle men who can guess a critter's weight within a few pounds. He has the "eye." He has watched millions of cattle come in the sale ring, watched them weighed and knows what he is seeing -- a real cowman. Bill can see a critter for 30 seconds and describe them to you for 10 minutes. That is the "eye" of a real cattleman. It comes from a lifetime of buying and selling cattle. You don't read this stuff out of a book or learn it in college.
Bill called about 4 PM and said you own a steer. I ask, how much. Bill said $1.59. That made him cost $2,176.20. He was one of the high selling critters of the day. In fact when he came in the ring the auctioneer stopped the sale, stood up and took a photo of him in the ring. Others came down to ring-side and took photos. That never happens at Barnesville.
I was anxious to see him. Joel took a ranch check to pay for him, brought him home and put him in a pen with some good Ohio hay. The steer was quiet, loaded easy, you could walk around him and he didn't worry about you. We stood and looked at this beautiful steer. I told Joel he looked like a Superb calf. Joel thought he had some Zhivago blood because he had above average bone. I could see a trace of what I thought was Superb in the shape of the nose. He was measured and T2T went 85.25." It was a long shot that a young steer in this area would have any other genetics than DCCI and have this excellent horn, size and bone substance. He had no brands, but with careful observation he had two small holes, one in each ear, where DCCI had placed an ID tag and a fly vapor tag. We were certain he was a steer DCCI had bred and sold for freezer beef as a weanling.
Linda does all the DCCI registrations and knows our records like a rabbit knows the briar patch. She was determined to find this steer's origin. She checked every Superb steer calf and his age looked too young to be a Superb steer. Every calf born at DCCI is photographed and recorded the day of birth and recorded on the computer. She went through every photo until, she found the perfect spot pattern match. It took her about 4 hours, but she is persistent.
The 85.25" steer was born 5-3-2010. He was sired by Fixer and out of Lynx Mountain who was a daughter of Superb. In checking his pedigree he was line bred Zhivago tracing back 5 times to the big bull. He was sold with 4 other little steers, at early weaning, for $360 to a fellow named Douglas, about 3 hours down in south Ohio.
I called Douglas and ask him about the steer. Douglas said he had sold him to a neighbor lady and she kept him as a pet. He was halter trained and had ridden him a little. I told Douglas I had bought him. Douglas was shocked - he said no, you couldn't have! Douglas said the neighbor lady ran out of pasture and sold him very cheap to another neighbor who promised to keep him as a pet for his kids -- forever. In fact he had met the buyer and helped him load the steer with a bucket of feed, Sept 13 about 8 AM. (Barnesville was about a 3 hour haul away.) The lady did not get much for the steer -- he reportedly ate a lot.
A few hours after the steer sold photos begin to appear on Facebook. It was reported that when the steer entered he turning his head at an angle to get in the auction ring. The seller raised his hand to say an honest word about his steer. He said, in almost total tears, he had found the steer near death, and an orphan, his kids had nursed him to health and raised him on a bottle, he was the family pet, it pained him considerably to let him go, but for very personal reasons he had to sell him today. Seller's remorse was reportedly expressed all during the bidding. No doubt it hurt the seller bad to part with this dear family friend. The more remorse, the more Bill had to bid. It was emotional.
We identified him and got his registration in order. He is correctly registered and named Gorgeous George. Bill miss guessed him as he wasn't 7 foot he was 85.25" T2T, but he was under age 5. Normally Bill don't miss that far. And, who would guess the orphan story would jack the price by $59 per hundred weight. See him at DCCI - he is a beauty.