By Vanesa Brashier, firstname.lastname@example.org
A cross-county rivalry is all for fun, say the owners of two Liberty County bulls who have enjoyed time in the spotlight in recent weeks.
Vincent Browning of Raywood, owner of Oliver the Watusi, and Lester Morrow of Plum Grove, owner of Tex the Longhorn, say they are friends and this is no real bull fight.
On March 18, Browning and his wife, Michelle, caused a media storm when they led a leashed Oliver into a Petco storm in Atascocita, testing the store’s rule that allows pets to accompany their owners. The incident garnered international attention for Oliver and Browning who are best known in Liberty County for their appearances in the Trinity Valley Exposition parades.
Morrow gained notoriety after Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Morrow posted a Facebook video of his return home to find that some of his animals had survived the storm, including his donkey, Ima Jean. Since that time, he founded Ima Survivor Animal Sanctuary and has taken in more storm refugees, including Tex.
In February, Tex’s antics in playing with a big red ball brought him attention from television news stations and the thousands of people who follow Morrow’s Facebook page, some who learned about Morrow after his appearance on Bear Gryll’s show “Face The Wild.”
After seeing Oliver on the news, Morrow decided to issue a rap battle with Browning. The rap battle was written by Morrow’s son, L.E., and performed by Morrow, L.E. and Morrow’s girlfriend, Jami Walker.
“There is no beef with Oliver or Vincent. We have followed his story. They are legends in Liberty County, and in our own way, Tex is an up and coming star,” Morrow said. “The rap battle is just a fun thing. It would be awesome if they reciprocate.”
Morrow said he spoke to Browning about it beforehand and while Browning has yet to respond online, he is planning to issue one soon.
“I am not too much on rap, so we have someone who is going to post a video for us,” Browning said.
“We weren’t trying to promote a rivalry, but we thought it was cute and all,” said Browning’s wife, Michelle.
Oliver is one of 11 Watusi cattle owned by the Brownings. The 14-year-old steer was raised from a calf by Vincent.
“I bought Oliver’s dad, Oscar, from a friend. I named him Oscar because there was a bucking bull at the time that no one could ride named Oscar. I thought it would be fun to have a bull that could be ridden by the same name, but that didn’t work out,” Browning said. “I always wanted a bull I could ride, so I kept looking.”
Oliver’s mom was a find at a local cattle auction, but her temperament was feisty and mean, so like Oscar she could not be ridden. When she gave birth to Oliver, Browning spent time every day working with him and training him to be comfortable around people.
“I used to just ride him up and down my road to train him. People would come up to take photos of him and that gave me the idea of taking him around to events for photos,” Browning said.
After appearances in 12 annual TVE parades in Liberty and numerous appearances at events all across the country, Oliver has proven he is comfortable with all the attention he receives.
“I don’t have to train him much anymore,” Browning said. “He’s so tame now that kids can sit on his back.”
As for Tex, Morrow said the video he posted of the bull playing with a red ball has captured the attention of an animal behavioral scientist who wants to study his interactions.
“I welcome her to come and observe him. He definitely shows a lot of uncharacteristic qualities for a bull,” Morrow said. “I think he is a genius and I am blessed because I get to see him every day.”
For more on the Brownings and Oliver, go online to https://www.facebook.com/TriangleBOliver/. The video link of his visit to Petco is posted below.
To learn more about Morrow and Tex, click here: Ima Survivor Donkey and Farm Animal Sanctuary. The video link for the rap battle also is posted below.