FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) – One of the best-known and longest-working historical figures at the Fort Worth Stockyards made his last walk on the tourist attractions brick streets Monday.
On Labor Day, the senior member of The Fort Worth Herd, famous for its twice-daily recreation of a Longhorn cattle drive through the Stockyards’, missed work for the first time since The Herd formed in 1999.
Did we mention this famous figure is a cow?
Sancho, lead steer, stands out from the herd because his very long horns curve downward with a sort of ‘Texas twist’.
Sancho is the last of the original longhorns brought to downtown Fort Worth for the cattle drive 12 years ago. He’s done the twice-daily drive more than 9,000 times.
“We know everything about him,” explained Kristin Jaworski, trail boss for The Herd. “He knows our routine. He knows our brick streets in and out. He’s very respectful of the horses and the drovers and the people who come to see him from all over the world.”
Sancho has been seen and photographed by millions of tourists. But, the long-serving bovine ambassador was gently lured aboard a trailer — with some feed serving as incentive.
On Monday, Sancho left the Stockyards and headed to greener pastures.
“We are retiring our longest employee of the herd,” Jaworski said. “This morning he was loaded on the trailer to collect his 401k.”
Sancho was taken to a ranch owned by the city councilman who started the herd back in 1999 — Jim Lane.
Once there, Sancho backed off the trailer and spun around to view his new surroundings. He stood in a large green pasture surrounded by trees with a nearby hay field.
Near the edge of the field a group of smaller, black cows stood watching. Then the herd trotted excitedly toward Sancho as he moo’d and walked quickly toward them.
Sancho’s handlers were surprised by the immediate, warm reception.
“They were calling each other,” Jaworski said. “He ran right over to meet them and they’re still following him around this morning. He has been the most dependable, gentle steer since day one. So he deserves a good home.”
While Sancho is 19-years-old, which is pretty old, some longhorns live up to 30 years, so folks from the Stockyards are hoping the longhorn’s retirement is a long and happy one.