Welcome to Wildfire Ranch, Colorado Springs, Colorado. We (Nicky and Fayne) are some of the lucky ones, living the dream. We retired from the Air Force in 2010 and 2005 respectively. We decided that we had not lived any where that we liked better than CO, so made this our home. With Fayne being a University of Texas graduate, he wanted to have a “Bevo”. In 2010, we started our herd with 2 cows, one of which we still have. We have since bred or purchased up to a total of 21 Longhorns. We also have a small herd of black Angus that are supposed to be ” paying” for the Longhorn “bug”.
A little history of our favorite Bovines. The TEXAS Longhorn became the foundation of the American cattle industry by claiming first right in the untamed, newly discovered Americans. Little over 600 years ago in 1493 Columbus brought Spanish cattle to Santa Domingo and within two years their descendants would be grazing the ranges of Mexico. In 1880 the first herd of cattle, about 200 head, were driven northward from Mexico to a mission near the Sabine River, land that would become Texas. The early mission and ranches would not survive all the elements. But the Longhorns would. By the time the Civil War, nearly 300 years after setting foot in America, million of Longhorns ranged between the mesquite-dotted sandy banks of the Rio Bravo to the sandbeds of the Sabine. Most of the Longhorns were unbranded, survivors of Indian raids, scattered by stampedes and weather, escaped from missions or abandoned after ranch failures. The Survivors of the Civil War returned home to Texas to find abandoned ranches, unplowed farm fields-and herds of wild cattle, which would soon become gold in their pockets. In the next quarter century, 10 million head were trailed North to fatten on lush Midwestern grasses or shipped directly by rail to the beef-hungry East. Translating wild cattle into hard cash was an epic struggle between man, beast and the elements- from this grew the romantic legend of the Western Cowboy. Longhorns, groomed by Mother Nature, carried the ideal characteristics of resistance-they were tremendous for long drives. They could go incredible distances without water, rustle their own food, fend for their selves, swim rivers, survive the desert sun and winter snows. But, at the turn of the century, sundown came for the Texas Longhorn. It took less than 40 years, fenced in land, plows and an overwhelming demand in the marketplace to drive the Longhorn closer to extinction than the buffalo. In 1927, the Federal government helped to preserve the Texas Longhorn and a great part of our American heritage. With only a handful of Texas Longhorns roaming the ranges in private herds. Congress appropriated $3,000 and assigned forest service rangers, Will C. Barnes and John H. Hatton to the task. These two men put the first herd together for Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. Another herd was established on the Fort Niobrara National Refuge at Valentine Nebraska. Also, at this time, the early 30’s, the State of Texas formed its own herd with the help of J. Frank Dobie, author of the “Longhorns”, and friend Graves Peeler, who had excellent knowledge of the Texas range country. Gradually, more breeders started raising private stock, recognizing the value of the Texas Longhorn. In 1964, the Texas Breeders Association of America was formed in Lawton Oklahoma. At this time there were less than 1,500 head of genuine Texas Longhorn cattle in existence – a third in the Federal refuges, the State of Texas herd, zoos, parks and private herds. The purpose of the Association was to recognize the Texas Longhorn and its link with American history, to promote awareness of the Texas Longhorn cattle, to recognize present breeders, to encourage others to develop and maintain herds and to reserve for posterity this magnificent breed of cattle.*