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In the annals of Oklahoma cattle breeding the state's first important champion show bull was Hazford Rupert 81st, a horned Hereford. Sired by Hazford Rupert 25th and calved in Kansas in January 1935, 81st came to Oklahoma in 1936 when Roy J. Turner and Forrest E. Harper purchased the show stock and small herd from famed Hereford breeder Robert H. Hazlett of Hazford Place, Eldorado, Kansas. Turner and Harper placed the herd on their ranch, a ninety-six-hundred-acre spread called Hereford Heaven, located about a hundred miles south of Oklahoma City and five miles east of Sulphur. Turner acquired his partner's share and began an impressive, lucrative, and nationally significant line breeding program.

Hazford Rupert 81st, of the bloodline of famed sires Anxiety, Beau Brummel, and Lamplighter, became the 1936 international champion. Over a lifetime, 81st produced hundreds of offspring that sold for an aggregate of more than $1 million; thus, it has been called the nation's "first million-dollar bull." 81st died in 1947 and was buried on the ranch, a headstone marking the resting place. Other champion Hereford bulls owned and shown by Turner were Hazford Tone 76th and TR Zato Heir. Heir's offspring sold for more than $2 million, making it the nation's "first two-million-dollar bull." Turner ranch Herefords produced some of the most important sires and dams in the national Hereford registry and were consistent show champions through the 1960s. In 1963 Turner, who became governor of Oklahoma in 1964, sold Hereford Heaven to Winthrop Rockefeller.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: Charles Bowers, "Enthusiastic Harper and Turner Make Livestock History in the State," Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 1 August 1937. Morris P. Moore, "Green Pastures for Old 81st," Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 13 July 1947. Donald R. Ornduff, The Hereford in America: A Compilation of Historic Facts about the Breed's Background and Bloodlines (3d ed.; Kansas City, Mo.: Hereford History Press, 1969). Roy P. Stewart, The Turner Ranch, Master Breeder of the Hereford Line (Oklahoma City: Homestead House, 1961).

Dianna Everett

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