OKLAHOMA CITY - If you want to get a really accurate measurement of a bull's horns, tip to tip and circumference, all that stuff, you'll need a half-dozen strong men to hold on tight while someone else handles a tape measure.
A city 'tenderfoot' might wonder why anyone would care so much about the spread of a cow's horn but at the annual Longhorn Extravaganza in Oklahoma City everyone does, especially Bom and Pam Loomis.
"I started raising longhorns 35 years ago," he says.
He brought a big bull to the show.
His tip to tip measurement turned out to be the longest ever for a longhorn bull.
"We've set a new world record," announced the emcee for the event.
"He's 89 and five eighths tip to tip. That's 89 and five eighths!"
Bob Loomis himself was a little more circumspect about the record.
"I'm about more than horns," he says. "I want longer horns, better bodies, better confirmation."
The Loomis's have a place near Marrietta, Oklahoma where they own another world champion longhorn.
A young, mother cow there has the longest spread in the world for females of the breed.
"She's 92 and a half inches tip to tip," says Loomis.
Size of horn is only one thing measured by the International Texas Longhorn Association.
Longhorn marketer Wes Chancey says people judge them on all kinds of different levels but mainly for looks.
"There's something about longhorns for everybody," he says. "But especially the horns. Everybody loves to brag about who has the biggest horns."
In the old Wild West days they were a wild and unpredictable breed of cattle.
The longhorns at this show are much tamer, but they retain that intimidating look, and their spread reaches every outward.
For more information on the Texas Longhorn breed visit the web at www.itla.com.