With God’s exceptional guidance and timing, Keith and Carla Blair became involved with the Texas Longhorn industry, but the truth is, the Blairs have always had a deeper connection to Longhorns than most breeders.
Keith Blair grew up in Combine, Texas, working and learning from his grandfather, Dan Caylor. Dan, who owned his own business specializing in the trucking of sand to golf courses, also raised Longhorns at his ranch, Double D Ranch, in Waco, Texas. “I never paid much attention to their pedigrees back then,” says Keith. “I just enjoyed feeding them, looking at the new babies and being around them. He did have a bull named Power Stroke that I can remember. He was just a really cool, big bull.” Keith’s grandfather raised Longhorns for 25 years, until he passed away in 2009.
After attending college, Keith worked with his grandfather in the sand trucking business, Caylor Specialty Materials. In 2001, Keith and his grandfather partnered up and started a silica sand mining company in Kosse, Texas. The business grew into a multi-million dollar sand mining company, Texas Sports Sands, which specialized in mining silica sand for golf courses and sports fields. When the fracking industry began to grow, Keith adapted his business to include frac sand. He sold Texas Sports Sands in 2008 and officially retired. Learning how to be a lifelong entrepreneur had a lot to do with his grandfather, and Keith’s best advice for anyone looking to build a successful business has been to, “Just work hard and don’t give up.”
Carla Blair’s history with Longhorns can be traced all the way back to one of her great grandfathers, Elijah Goodnight. Elijah was Charles Goodnight’s brother and the longest living veteran of the Mexican American War. Cattle raising was in the family’s blood. “I can recall one of my grandfathers running a lot of cattle when I was young,” says Carla. “When Keith and I got married, we decided we wanted a buffalo. We searched for some buffalo from the original Goodnight herd and eventually decided against it. We’re so much happier with these beautiful Longhorns - they’re like our babies.”
Carla became involved with real estate in 2005 and became a broker in 2009. Her business, Carla Trimber Realty Partners, led to the meeting of Keith. “I was selling my personal home, and Carla was the broker representing the buyers,” said Keith. Carla laughs, “His King Ranch was parked in the driveway, and I pulled up in the exact same one. We instantly hit it off.”
Keith and Carla have credited their meeting, and everything that has happened in their lives including raising Longhorns, to their strong faith and trust in God. “We just believe that if we slow ourselves, listen, and watch, that God will reveal things to us each and every day,” says Carla. “If you listen to what God tries to tell you and guide you, you’ll end up doing exactly what you’re meant to do and be infinitely blessed.”
While attending the Fort Worth Stock Show in January 2016 and walking through the various exhibits and buildings, the Blair family, including 13 year old Colton, came across the Eddie Woods Cowtown Classic Sale. According to the Blairs, something just felt right. With only a few lots left in the sale, the Blairs got a buyer’s number. They purchased their first Texas Longhorn right there when Colton put the winning bid on “Bright Eye,” who was bred by the late Mike Bowman.
The Blairs continued with their cattle-raising heritage, and it was through their faith they realized that God had brought them back to the Longhorn breed for a reason. Keith began researching pedigrees, tip-to-tip measurements, and market values for registered Texas Longhorns through various websites. Carla enjoyed every minute with their first Longhorn purchase, making Bright Eyes the start of Infinity Land & Cattle Company. Eventually, they purchased an additional female from Dawn & Darin Divinia, located near them in Red Oak, Texas, and also re-connected with their fellow acquaintance and Longhorn breeder, Jim Eggleston of Star E Longhorns. While continuing with his pedigree research, Keith came across a bull being sold by Jim & Barbara Atwell through Martee Lancaster. Keith purchased Country Chex, originally bred by longtime breeder Joe Valentine. The couple also added a few females to the growing herd. “‘Pine Ridge’ has been one of our favorites since the day Tessa (Milsap) delivered her,” beams Carla.
Jim and Barbara Atwell, of Royal Heritage Farms, encouraged Keith and Carla to research the Texas Longhorn Marketing Alliance. The Blairs became members and quickly heard about the 2016 Texas Longhorn Legacy Sale – the premier sale to add quality genetics to any breeding program. Brand new to the industry, they decided to attend and became the highest volume buyers of the sale. Keith, Carla and Colton went home with six lots from the Legacy Sale totaling $172,550. They purchased HR Slam’s Rose, the second highest selling cow in the Legacy Sale and consigned by Bill & Judy Meridith of Tallgrass Cattle Co.
“Keith is so talented at business,” says Carla when asked about how they chose the lots they wanted to purchase. “He spent hours and days researching them. We looked at what we liked and didn’t like. In the end, we think we made some good decisions as there were a lot of hands being raised to bid against us in the room.” Keith adds, “And, if I really like it, I’m going to buy it.”
The Blairs also purchased Helm Dixie Cowgirl, consigned by John & Debra Helm. “We were so impressed with the heartfelt prayer that John gave before the Legacy Sale. It was another reminder that we were where we were supposed to be. We didn’t even know it was his heifer that we had purchased until he and Debra came up to thank us,” says Carla. “It’s meeting people like them, that we connect with, that makes this journey so special.”
The Blair’s growing herd at Infinity Land & Cattle is comprised only of 80” TTT animals or animals expected to reach 80” TTT very soon. The newly acquired animals roam through either their 24-acre calving ranch in Hudson Oaks, Texas, and on their 188-acre ranch in Millsap, Texas, being hand fed and loved on every day. The first baby, born just before Easter Sunday church, will bear the Blair’s brand that is a combination of the infinity symbol and a cross. “We just plan to make our herd the best that it can possibly be,” says Keith.
“We’ve enjoyed meeting everyone so very much,” says Carla. “We can’t wait to continue meeting many more people at the upcoming events.”
Besides keeping with the cattle raising family tradition, Keith and Carla have included the Charles Goodnight Trail Cattle Drive to their bucket list. “The old West cattle drives have always intrigued me,” says Carla. Keith adds “It’s just something we think would be a lot of fun to do.”