LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Every serious rancher knows what a Henry Golden Boy lever-action .22 rifle is, and what it takes to win one. James and Lynette Haltom are no exception, having already won two this year alone.
James is a “Texas cowboy” and Navy veteran; Lynette is a “California city girl.” The couple moved to Kentucky in 2008 and shortly thereafter began raising Texas longhorn cattle.
Only in their second year of raising longhorns and competing in shows for younger cattle, the Haltoms have already made a name for themselves in the rancher community.
On April 4, they loaded up three of their best cattle and headed to Bowling Green for the Southeastern Winchester Futurity cattle show at the Western Kentucky University Agriculture Expo Center and they came home with three awards, including Grand Champion Bull.
“We went to the show last year and our cattle just weren’t up to snuff,” James said. “We got rid of most of what we had last year and started getting some new cattle.”
They called some of the biggest breeders in the country.
“Our little bull, his daddy is a world record holder,” James said. “He’s got 92 inch horns. Our little bull, right now is the number one yearling bull in the country, at least (until) the next big show in August.”
In Bowling Green, the Haltoms were competing against some of the biggest ranchers in the country. More than 20 states were represented and some ranches brought multiple entries for each category.
“We only took three animals and we took first, first and third,” Lynette said. "That’s pretty much unheard of for someone with only 12 cattle.”
As a result, the Haltoms brought home two of the coveted Henry Golden Boy Rifles and cash prizes, a feat that most seasoned ranchers can’t say they’ve accomplished in one show.