Simon Teel has been working with cattle all of his life on his family’s ranch. But he recently raised a cow that is more special than the others, John Henry.
John Henry, a Dexter steer, was born on June 15, 2017, one day after the Teel house burned down and the family lost everything they owned. The family was on their way back from a show in Texas when they got the call.
During clean-up the next day, Simon and his Grandpa took a break to water the cattle and noticed that Simon’s show heifer, Winner, was in labor. They stepped in to help her as she was having some difficulties, and John Henry was born.
“John Henry is extra special to us, in the fact that he brought us hope that things will be fine and life will go on as normal,” said Jennifer Teel, Simon’s mother.
Simon has been showing cattle for three years and is a member of Sperry’s 4-H Club. John Henry has since been shown in a few cattle shows. He and his mother, Winner, were shown as a cow/calf pair at the Tulsa State Fair winning 5th place. At the Missouri Dexter Breeders Association Show they also shown as a cow/calf pair and placed 3rd. John Henry was also entered into the Junior Bull Show where he placed 4th.
Simon started showing cattle with Dexters then added a full blood Limousine. He has now added longhorns, which is mainly what is raised on the family farm.
“I love everything that goes along with living on the farm/ranch life from baling the hay, feeding the cattle, riding the horses, and just being out in the country,” Simon said.
“John Henry needed a very special place for his forever home,” Jennifer said. Simon decided he wanted to donate the steer.
We live in Osage County and we wanted to find somewhere within the county for him to go and let others see him,” he said. “Dexter cattle are kind of new to this area and I wanted to let others know about them.”
The Teel’s contacted Woolaroc and they were excited to take John Henry as part of their petting zoo. “My parents and I have already talked about making a trip up there once the petting zoo is open,” Simon said.