Grand Champion steer sells for record-tying $1 million at Houston rodeo

Blaize Benson of San Angelo raised the winning steer

"Woozy" was named the Grand Champion steer at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. (Thomas Hopkins, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo)

HOUSTON, Texas – The Houston rodeo’s Junior Market Grand Champion steer “Woozy” brought in a doozy of money.

“Woozy,” a Simmental raised by Blaize Benson of San Angelo, sold at auction for $1 million on Saturday, becoming only the second steer to sell for that much money at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

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A news release states Benson has been showing at the Houston rodeo since 2017, except for 2020 when the rodeo was canceled due to COVID.

“I’m incredibly blessed to be here and am grateful to the man above who put me in this situation,” Benson said in the news release.

The 15-year-old will take home $75,000, according to the Houston Chronicle.

“He works really hard, and we’ve done this since he was eight. It doesn’t go this way very often; I know this is a core memory that he’ll have forever,” Benson’s mother, Chelsie, said in the release.

The donors for the steer included Barbara and Don Jordan, Laura and Steve McNear, and Chris and Lisa Cunningham.

In 2022, the Jordans broke the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo record by bidding $1 million on a steer named Vanilla Ice.

Don Jordan said he had the intention to make history again in 2024.

“This year, I wanted to defend the world record that I have, and my fellow buyers were nice enough to help me make that a reality,” he said in the news release.

Madelyn “Maddie” Shickendanz of Perryton showed “TJ,” who was named the Reserve Grand Champion.

“TJ” sold for $650,000, and the donors included Robert Clay and Dana Barton, John O’Shea and Pam Carmain, Becky and Kelly Joy, and Ben and Diego Berg.

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo ended on Sunday. Since 1932, the rodeo has committed more than $600 million to Texas youth and education.

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About the Author

Rebecca Salinas is an award-winning digital journalist who joined KSAT in 2019. She reports on a variety of topics for KSAT 12 News.

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