Grand Champion Steer Vanilla Ice sells for record-breaking $1 million at Houston Livestock Show

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo ended its last weekend with a historic bang after the new Grand Champion Junior Market Steer Vanilla Ice, sells for record breaking $1 million.

Out of the 34 steers and their handlers, 16-year-old Aven Horn from Anson, Texas and her steer 'Vanilla Ice' became the newest champion.

"There are no words. We have put in so much work over the past year and it has finally paid off," Aven said. "Winning Grand Champion Steer at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo means so much, words can't even describe the quality of cattle that come here. To win here means everything."

Aven was raised around the cattle industry and has been showing since she was in the third grade. She credits her parents for her love of showing cattle, who also showed cattle when they were in high school.

The title of Reserve Champion Junior Market Steer went to high school junior Tristan Himes of Sterling City, Texas. According to Tristan, he eats, sleeps, and breathes, showing cattle.

"It takes an army to make a steer look this good," said Tristan.

After naming the champions, a historic purchase was made by Don D. Jordan, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Past President.

The Grand Steer Champion, Vanilla Ice, was sold to Barbara and Don B. Jordan and family, Lisa and Chris Cunningham, Leslie and Gary Hazlewood, and Laura and Steve McNear.

With that purchase, the amount surpassed Rodeo's previous record of $625,000 in 2019.

Jordan has an extensive history with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. He was elected to the Executive Committee in 1986 and served as president from 1994 to 1996.

Although, this isn't Jordan's first cattle purchase. In 1987, he purchased the Grand Champion Steer for $75,000.

"The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and I were born in the same year, so we've spent a lot of birthdays together," said Jordan, who celebrates his 90th birthday this year in conjunction with the Rodeo celebrating its 90th anniversary.

The Reserve Grand Champion Steer shown by Tristan, was sold to Robert, Will, and Catherine Clay, Scott and Andrea Fish, Alan and Julie Kent, Rob and Sherri Walker for $675,000.

"These kids are what Houston is all about. People just want to be able to give back," said Alan Kent. With Saturday's record-breaking steer purchases, Aven will receive $85,000 and Tristan will receive $45,000.

Since its beginning in 1932, the Rodeo has committed more than $550 million to the youth of Texas and education.

Depending on placement, the Rodeo sets a guaranteed minimum payment for each exhibitor who qualifies for the junior market auction. A capped amount is set above the guaranteed minimum for each auction lot.

If the bidding exceeds the cap amount, the additional funds go into the Rodeo's Educational Fund for scholarship and grant recipients.

The 2022 Rodeo continues through March 20. For more information, visit rodeohouston.com and connect with #RODEOHOUSTON online via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for all the latest news.
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