A Bull in a China Shop

Spud and Titan, 2007 Champion Steers, at the Brown Palace

Spud and Titan, 2007 Champion Steers, at the Brown Palace

Animals are no stranger to the brown palace hotel. According to the hotel’s website:

In 1945, Dan Thornton, who later became governor of Colorado, arranged to have two Hereford bulls shown and sold here for $50,000. In January 1958, Monte Montana clattered into the lobby on his horse “Rex” and continued up the grand staircase to drop in on a meeting of the Rodeo Cowboys Association. In 1988, Gary Henry and “Bubba,” a Texas Longhorn steer, arrived at the front desk to signal the beginning of the National Western Stock Show.

One annual tradition involves the presentation of the winning steer from the National Western. As befits such a fancy place, he drinks out of a silver bowl. While the steer is there, you can go get your picture taken with him. It’s free. It’s fun. It’s a Denver tradition.

In 2007, Allen and I went down to get our picture taken. I’m not sure who the guy on the right is, but I think he’s trying to make sure nobody gets killed. As you can see, 2007 brought in two champion steers (Spud and the reserve champion Titan – I guess Spud was a bit too nervous to be there on his own). They’re good looking fellers, raised by kids from the Future Farmers of America. Spud was raised by Lance Unger of Carlisle, Indiana. Unfortunately for Spud, he became someone’s dinner. Okay, a lot of people’s dinner. Here’s what 9news had to say:

Weighing over 1,300 pounds, Spud sold for $80,000 during the auction. He was bought by the Emil-Lene’s Sirloin House.

For 2009, the steer’s appearance will be on Friday, January 23rd, between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm. Whether you prefer your beef freerange or ranging free, this is a rare chance to get up close and personal with a champion steer before he heads to the dinner table.

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