These two people are probably the epitome of “weekend cattle ranchers,” but after more than twelve years of dedicated work in the business, they’re proving they have a passion for all things Longhorn and are continuing to raise a top-quality herd of “horns” deep in the heart of Texas. It’s the same for a lot of breeders— this venture (or should we say, this adventure) started with Allen and Suzanne wanting to have a couple of pretty Longhorn cows on the 185-acre family ranch in the old community of Pearl, located about thirty minutes north of Lampasas. Allen grew up there raising commercial cattle and also did his share of raising sheep, goats, and chickens. He had always recognized and enjoyed the historical value and classic beauty of the long-horned cattle, but never had much of a chance to work with them.
In April 2002, (after several years of thought, some dedicated study, and a few shopping trips) they purchased three young, registered Longhorn cows and brought those to the ranch to keep the spring grass mowed down. These three were soon joined by the addition of a young, but large and quite memorable Longhorn bull, named CC Blue Warrior. They really couldn’t even refer to this small band of Longhorns as a “herd” for the first year, but in getting to know and understand that little group of cows during that first summer and winter, the wheels were set in motion for this venture to grow into something more lasting than a mere hobby...and it would include more than just three cows and one “spoiled” bull.
The next April brought the first spring babies (all heifers of various and pretty colors). Allen and Suzanne also got serious about planning a true breeding program. After more dedicated study, they realized the first three cows they had purchased had strong bloodlines to well-known ancestors in the industry and were strong producers. They made the most of good counsel from other established and recognized breeders and started to add more cows to their foundation herd. They also became more involved with TLBAA and STLA activities, attending sales and ranch tours, visited with numerous other breeders, and made some long-lasting friends and colleagues along the way.
“You can’t ever stop doing your homework about the cattle,” remarks Suzanne, who spent the first three years reading every shred of literature about Texas Longhorns she could find. “Knowing the value and the impact of the early bloodlines and overall breed characteristics is extremely important when you start to build a foundation herd.” The Perry’s take pride in having some outstanding females in their program that fit the description of “total package” Longhorn cows. Each of them can “measure up” in a big way when you look at the traits needed for a strong brood cow that can produce a top-notch, and very marketable, calf every year.
The breeding program at Pearl Longhorn Ranch has moved through various stages and Allen and Suzanne feel they are continually adjusting to determine the most effective pairings. They are currently utilizing the service of three strong herd sires. The senior herd sire is Blue Warrior, who traces back to Abraham, Texas Ranger JP, and Widespread 11/9, and is known for producing large-sized calves with strong conformation and flashy black & white coloring or a variety of pretty brindled colors.
In late 2004, the Perry’s partnered with Cedar Creek Cattle Company on a young Phenomenon son, CC PeaceKeeper. This red & white bull is growing into a look-a-like of his famous sire and produces very correct, colorful, and big-horned offspring. The ranch has also utilized AI work on select foundation cows and has had some robust results in obtaining one Phenomenon daughter, a Jamakizm son, a Super Bowl son, and one Don Julio daughter born of some top dams over the last few years. These highly-pedigreed offspring are continuing to enhance the foundation herd as they become older and more AI breedings are planned for the future.One of the AI breedings in 2009 produced the very colorful Butler-blend bull, PLR Texas Tommie (a son of VJ Tommie) who is now the youngest of the herdsires in use.
Today, Pearl Longhorn Ranch includes the original home place along with another 90 acres of adjoining pasture. They run approximately 80 head of cattle. “Our ranching enterprise has been a real team effort.” says Allen. “We each have our strong points and each of us tends to various duties needed to keep things running smoothly. We always collaborate on which animals to purchase and which bull and cow to pair up for breeding. 'Long Horns, Deep Bodies, and Proud Pedigrees' is not just a slogan we slap on our advertising materials. We strive to breed high-quality stock that will carry all of these attributes and that will exhibit the total package of what a Texas Longhorn can be.”
Along with managing their ranching operation, Allen and Suzanne are also involved in the Texas Longhorn network. They both have served on the STLA Board of Directors, where Allen was Membership Chair. Suzanne has served as a Vice President and chaired the Events Committee which is responsible for the STLA Field Days and ranch tour. She has also served as the Editor of the STLA NEWS up until 2008 and continues to maintain the STLA website. On occasion, Suzanne also shoots photos or writes short articles for the Texas Longhorn Trails magazine.
You can visit Allen & Suzanne Perryat the ranch in Pearl
or on their website at www.pearl-longhorn-ranch.com
Phone numbers are 512/263-5313 or 512/423-3797.