Champion steer sells for $200,000 at Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo

Ben Bezner shows around his European crossbred steer named Mufasa during the Sale of Champions at the Fort Worth Stock Show on Saturday. (Photo Courtesy: Brandon Wade/ Star-Telegram)

A 17-year-old junior from Dalhart High School took home $200,000 after his steer 'Mufasa' became grand champion at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo on Saturday.

According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Ben Bezner of Texline had his 1,329 pound European crossbred steer purchased by Ross Perot Jr.'s Hillwood Properties during the Sale of Champions.

The sale is $40,000 less than what last year's top steer brought. However, Bezner was thrilled with the payday since he initially thought he had finished fifth in Friday's junior steer show, the Star-Telegram reports.

“At first, when the judge was pulling us, he pulled me fifth,” Bezner told the Star-Telegram. “The judge walked us around [some more], and he pulled me first, but I thought he pulled me fifth. So everybody was cheering for me, and I thought, ‘Why are y’all cheering for me? I finished fifth.’”

Bezner said the $200,000 will go towards college, where he plans to study ag business at either Texas Tech University or Texas A&M University.

For Ross Perot, buying the champion steer has become a family tradition.

“It’s a tremendous honor. We feel very blessed to be here. We have been in the cattle business for a long time. My first Stock Show was in 1976 and I bought the grand champion with my father that year," Perot told the Star-Telegram.

Hillwood Properties has also purchased the 2003, 2004 and 2016 champion steer, in addition to other Sale of Champion purchases.

Austin Breeding of Miami, Texas and a good friend of Bezner's, sold the reserve grand champion steer for $90,000 during the Stock Show and Rodeo to K&L Enterprises.

The Fort-Worth Star Telegram reports Saturday's Sale of Champions featured 291 top steers, barrows, lambs and wether goats and were among more than 11,000 livestock that was shown by Future Farmers of America and 4-H students.

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