Even at $165,000, Richard and Jeanne Filip couldn’t help but think they got a bargain with Cowboy Tuff Chex, the longhorn bull they bought Friday night at the Hudson Valentine auction in the Fort Worth Stockyards.
His horns are the longest in the world for a bull, measuring about 101 inches from tip to tip.
But $165,000 is still $165,000.
“We’re going to bubble-wrap him when we get to the ranch,” Jeanne Filip joked. “Our guys will know: You do not make Tuff do anything he doesn’t want to do. He’s the VIP of the ranch.”
Heading into the auction, his owner, Bob Loomis, estimated that Tuff, a 6-year-old from Overbrook, Okla., could have been sold for as much as $500,000.
The Filips, who retired from the real estate business four years ago, were prepared to spend that much, if not more. They’ve owned longhorns for 17 years and have more than 100 on their ranch in Fayetteville.
They’ve owned a few six-figure longhorns over the years — and even have one now with tip-to-tip horns of 96 1/2 inches — but none like Tuff.
“$1 million!” Richard Filip said, when asked what his top bid would be.
“Richard rarely bids and drops out,” his wife said.
But as the prices jumped higher Friday night, even the Filips felt the pressure.
“I didn’t have second thoughts, but I kept trying to justify — that’s a lot of money for one animal,” Richard Filip said. “Then you start taking into consideration, what if there’s an accident going home and he’s gone? It’s a lot of responsibility to take on.”
Tuff wasn’t the first record-setter to pass through the Stockyards.
At the same auction last year, Lazy J’s Bluegrass, the world record-holder for a steer with horns at 121 inches from tip to tip, sold for $49,000.
Lazy J’s, a Kansas native, got some competition from a Texas steer this year. The owners of Tejas Tip 2 Tip, an 8-year-old living on a ranch in South Texas, measured their steer’s horns at about 122 inches.