There once was a bull, an astonishing bull with a handsome, wide muzzle, stunning scrotal circumference and a square frame solid as a sycamore. He was the son of Cherokee Canyon, the grandson of Make My Day, a noble pedigree. The cowboy who designed him, who chose the semen, selected the dam, prepared and inseminated the uterus, named him Revelation. “We don’t intend to present this bull as divine,” the cowboy, Donnell Brown, would write in his 2005 sale catalog, “but we do count it a blessing to have raised him.” Brown was a salesman by nature, but not given to hyperbole. He believed in his heart that Revelation, at just a year-and-a-half old, could become the most storied bull in the history of the Red Angus breed. Finally, after decades of tinkering: might this be the masterpiece?

Every October, cattle buyers from all over the United States gather near Throckmorton, in north-central Texas, where the R.A. Brown Ranch has been selling breeding cattle for more than a century, and where as many as 800 head will go at auction in a single day. Fathers, sons, grandsons—the ranch has passed through five generations. Donnell Brown, 41, is the current cowboy in charge, and at the 2005 R. A. Brown Ranch Bull & Female Sale he sold Revelation to a Houston businessman with a weekend ranch for $12,000.

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