JR from Queensland has longest horn in the world

Seven-year-old steer JR officially has the world’s longest long-horns (take that, Texas!), and his owners hope the prized beast could turn into a major tourism cash cow.

JR entered the Guinness Book of World Records with his massive horn-span (yep, that’s a thing) of 2.77m, a whopping three times larger than your average steer.

JR’s owner, “dinky-di Australian” Michael Bethel, anticipates a major boost in visitor numbers to his outback Queensland ranch when the season picks up in March and April.

But if you think the fame has gone to JR’s, er, head, then think again.

“The record hasn’t changed him one bit, because all this publicity’s been happening during the offseason,” Mr Bethel said.

“I think he might have a few more interested eyes looking at him.”

JR’s bloodline can be traced back to the southern American state, and Mr Bethel hopes to get some authentic Texans visiting Leahton Park this season.

“I’m sure we will this year,” he said. “I’m a dinky-di Australian but I do have connections in Texas. Some of the nicest people you ever know are Texans and we often refer to our tourist attraction as ‘Queensland meets Texas’.

“Texans are Texans first then Americans second, a lot like us – Queenslanders first then Australians.”

So why have JR’s horns grown so big they put famous US college football team Texas Longhorns to shame?

“It’s kind of an anomaly – it’s genetics and luck,” Mr Bethel said.

“His mother has produced probably more horn than any other beast in Australia. JR’s half-brother has a massive set of horns, not quite as big. The genetics flowing down from her (JR’s mother) are exceptional.

“We’ve tried to replicate it but we can’t.”

With JR representing such a crucial stake in the Bethels’ tourism strategy, you think he’d be bubble-wrapped and kept in a gold-plated barn, served hand-picked grass by French waiters.

But that’s not the case.

“He doesn’t get any special treatment – he’s just one of the boys, out in the paddock with the other cattle,” he said.

“He’s not pampered, so we run the risk of damage, but so far so good.”

by Robbo Green


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