Seven-year-old Alex Ruppert caught a lot of attention Monday at the Pennsylvania Farm Show.
Reclined on the back of a Texas Longhorn, Alex was in his element, resting comfortably on the massive back of Happy Bear, who is the Farm Show's All-Age Grand Champion Steer.
Nowadays, the cattle's horns can be as wide as 90 inches. But Alex wasn't intimidated.
Even the Lewisberry boy's shiny belt buckle, worn with a cowboy hat and camouflage, has the flavor of a true cowboy. It reads "2012 Grand Champion Female," which stands for his cow, DG Hunting Miss Empress.
Happy Bear belongs to Wellsville's Crazy Cattle Company, whose Longhorns also earned the title of Champion Junior Steer and first place for 2-year-old Junior Steer.
Family affair: Alex's parents, Doug and Kris Ruppert, own Ruppert Longhorns, which earned second place for Senior Heifer and third place for Junior Heifer at the Farm Show this year.
The Rupperts brought seven of their Longhorns, which were on display Monday, prompting a lot of attention from Farm Show attendees.
Kris Ruppert said she loves talking to tens of thousands of people about her cattle.
"Longhorns are popular because people are mesmerized by the horn and color," she said.
They're docile cattle, Ruppert said, and the ones her family shows are mostly born at their farm.
The Rupperts go to shows throughout the year, and Alex sometimes shows in the pee-wee division, she said. He also started competing in youth rodeo last year -- he's now working on dummy roping, Ruppert said.
"He's a little rodeo dude," she said.
Favorite show: But Longhorn shows are just a way to get the family together, Ruppert said.
"This is strictly for our family," she said. "This is something our family can do."
And coming to the Farm Show is always a good time for the Rupperts, she said.
"It's like our favorite show of the year," she said.
Alex said his favorite part about the Farm Show is watching the high school rodeos.
"And milkshakes," he added.
-- Reach Mollie Durkin at firstname.lastname@example.org.