Rafter H Longhorns is owned and operated by family members Kenn Harding, Tammy Tiner, and Laura Harding. Although our first Texas Longhorn was a heifer donated to Laura Harding in 1998 (See Laura’s Story), the Rafter H Longhorn herd began in November 2000 when we purchased three twisty-horned cows at the Eddie Woods Sale in Fort Worth, Texas, and, at the same sale in 2001, Emperors Echo, a 2 ½ year old Emperor son out of one of El Coyote Ranch’s best bull-producing cows, Country Girl.
Our early goals were to produce animals that could be shown successfully by our daughter Laura on the TLBT Show circuit, but which also had better horn growth than most show animals. Laura was successful in showing a number of our animals to high class placings until her graduation from high school in 2006. By that time, she had acquired over $16,000 in scholarship money through the Autobahn Scholarship program. Three mature females produced during this period are shown in our background picture above.
For several years after Laura’s graduation, we only showed her outstanding steer, Hulaballoo 16/4, who was Grand Champion Youth Steer in Laura’s senior year. She showed Hulaballo to Grand Champion Longhorn steer multiple times in TLBAA Affiliate Shows, Fort Worth Stock Show, Houston Livestock Show, San Antonio Livestock Show, and Austin Livestock Show. We lost him to a back injury in 2016.
Partly because of his loss, we started halter-breaking and showing some young steers and females. Two steers produced from our black-brindle Maximus son, were champions in a number of shows and one was Grand Champion at the 2018 TLBT World Show. Several females also did well in the show circuit. In 2018, we decided to concentrate on showing in non-haltered shows and Futurities rather than halter-breaking multiple animals every year. We have had some good results in these arenas, but we have decided that we needed to add more horn to our herd while continuing to improve conformation and color.