Alabama Longhorn’s Horns Set World Record
Russ Chastain 06.20.19
A Texas Longhorn steer from Alabama has officially been recognized as having the longest horns ever. Guinness World Records posted that Poncho Via’s whopping 10-foot-7.4-inch tip-to-tip span has surpassed all other records for steers, being recognized as “largest horn spread on a living steer” and “largest horn spread on a steer ever.”
Poncho lives on a ranch in the small town of Goodwater –- southeast of Birmingham, Alabama -– where he has been raised since he was a weanling by the Pope family.
The Popes have been avidly following this record category for several years. Their “Could we have a record-breaker?” moment arose when Poncho was aged around four, after they noticed that their steer’s horns were not curving up like those of most longhorns, but instead growing straight out.
The family’s instinct that Poncho could be a record holder was borne out last month, when Guinness World Records approved the measurements of his rack. His horn tip span supersedes that of the previous record holder -– a fellow longhorn steer called Sato, from Texas -– by just over an inch.
Poncho’s owner Jeral Pope recalls the first time he ever set eyes on this striking breed: “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.”
“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].”
Poncho is a gentle giant, but his horns can still be dangerous. Stand too close when he gets bitten by a bug and you might just get flung!
While Poncho has never hurt anyone with his horns intentionally, the unwieldy appendages have occasionally proven a liability -– as Jones knows all too well. “One day, I was out fishing and Poncho came up behind me…” he begins to recount ruefully.
“He pulled a water bottle right out my pocket with his tongue. He’s there playing with the bottle and I reached and scratched him for a bit…
“That went on for a little while and I guess a horsefly got on him or something [because], 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.”
Poncho enjoys a nice brushing.That’s one heck of a huge set of horns! But here I am just wondering how he will taste when rendered into ribeyes and such.
You can see more of him in the short video below…