A Texas Longhorn won the Guinness World Record for having the longest spread of horns on a steer ever.
Jeral Pope owns the 7-year-old steer. He started to notice Poncho Via’s amazing horn length when the steer was just 4 years old. The horns were growing straight out instead of curving, CBS DFW reported.
New record: Largest horn spread on a steer ever ???? Poncho Via is one extraordinary record breaker.
“He’s had so many people over the years stop by to see him, feeding him treats, that he’s turned into a wonderful big pet.” https://t.co/gisQW0WBev
— GuinnessWorldRecords (@GWR) June 18, 2019
Jeral Pope Jr., the owner’s son, told Guinness World Records that Poncho Via is somewhat of a celebrity.
“This one has had so many people over the years stop by to see him, feeding him carrots and apples and any kind of treat, that he’s just turned into a wonderful big pet,” said Pope Jr.
“All my neighbors round here, any time they have company, they come over to see the longhorn. He’s just a big, gentle character. Everyone brings [food] with them – he likes apples, carrots and marshmallows,” the senior Jeral Pope told Guinness.
Pope Jr. says that the family has raised cows for years.
“We’ve had cows here on this place since 1962, when we purchased this farm. Dad purchased it when I was just a little fellow,” Pope Jr. told Guinness.
The previous record holder was a Texas Longhorn that actually lives in Texas, CBS DFW reported. A steer named Sato used to be the record holder, with horns that extended almost 10 feet and five inches.
A beloved Texas longhorn named Poncho Via has broken the Guinness World Record for its nearly 11-foot horns—more than twice the width of a concert grand piano. https://t.co/HpFdw5oZME pic.twitter.com/hj4jiO6RFo
— ABC News (@ABC) June 18, 2019
Jeral Pope shared about when he first saw this breed of steer.
“My wife and I went somewhere out west, riding a hay wagon. Up on the hill, outlined against the sky, were three or four longhorns. They stood out like anything on the crest of that mountain – it was the prettiest thing. I told my wife, we got to have one of them,” Pope told Guinness. “He was six months old when I got him. I named him Poncho Via, after the [1960s] TV and movie character [based on the early-20th-century Mexican revolutionary, Pancho Villa].”
Despite horns that make him not only the current record holder, but grant him the title of the Longhorn with the longest horns ever, Pancho Via is usually not dangerous.
“Back when he was younger… he [only] had small horns, but he would get frisky… bucking and snorting and charging… But he’s mellowed out as the years have gone by… and pretty much walks where he wants to go nowadays instead of running,” said George Jones, another family member.
Jones shared a funny story about a time when Pancho Via’s huge horns actually put him in danger. He told Guinness about a time when he was fishing, and Pancho Via came up behind him to play, and then “all of a sudden, he turned that head and I went airborne into the pond! He just knocked me completely off my feet into the water.”
The Texas Longhorn was once on the verge of extinction. In 1927, the U.S. government preserved the Longhorn by placing it in wildlife refuges in Nebraska and Oklahoma, allowing the breed to continue to exist, according to Oklahoma State University.