Early arrivals to the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) here in Detroit received an unusual welcome as ten cowboys on horseback herded 120 longhorn cattle into the street in front of the Cobo Center.
The cattle were trucked into downtown Detroit as part of the introduction celebration for the new crew-cab version of the Dodge Ram light-duty truck. Detroit police closed down numerous streets in the area to ensure the cattle wouldn’t mingle with local traffic. The animals, trucked in by the Chain Ranch of Woodward, OK, had been staying at a farm in Michigan in anticipation of the event.
Hundreds of show attendees braved the January weather to watch as the giant cattle were herded down Washington Blvd. in front of the Cobo Center, home of the auto show. The slogan for Dodge’s Ram trucks is “Grab life by the horns.”
Dodge’s public relations department said it has been planning the publicity stunt since August. “First we had to research whether it was possible to bring longhorn cattle into downtown Detroit,” said Dan Bodene, manager of body-on-frame communications for Dodge. “Then we had to find someone who could do it.”
Dodge representatives settled on the Chain Ranch, which specializes in delivering longhorn cattle to such events.
Dodge spokesmen said the animals presented no danger to people in the area, despite their massive size. Longhorns reportedly can weigh as much as 1,400 to 2,500 lbs, and can have horns that measure six ft across, tip to tip. None of the animals wandered past rope barriers put in place for the occasion.
“They’re perfectly tame,” Bodene explained, “much like dogs.”