Longtime Advertising Star, Chisholm -- the Earnhardt Steer -- Has Passed Away at 27

A Legendary Duo: Tex Earnhardt and Chisholm, the Iconic Steer of Arizona Advertising

Chisholm, a steer with a long claim to fame in Arizona advertising, has passed away at the age of 27. The longhorn became a familiar figure alongside Tex Earnhardt, a television personality and founder of Earnhardt Auto Centers.

Tex Earnhardt – famous for riding a steer (“no bull”) in commercials - worked with Chisholm for over a decade (up until Tex’s passing in April of 2020).

The image of Tex astride Chisholm appeared in ad campaigns, in website photos, and on branded merchandise like apparel and promotional items including plush animals bearing Chisholm’s likeness. In fact, the silhouette of such imagery has become the theme behind the vast majority of branding and marketing efforts for Earnhardt Auto Centers, themed: “The Spirit of Tex”.

“Dad always said he chose Chisholm for his gentle temperament and noble bearing,” Hal Earnhardt said. “Chisholm, for his part, always seemed happy wherever Dad was.”

“It was always fun to shoot a commercial with Chisholm,” commented Chris Kerr of Earnhardt’s marketing team, with an endearing chuckle. “We just had to keep an eye on his head. Those near-record length horns could knock you into the mud if you weren’t careful. But he sure was a big, sweet gentle giant.”

The commercial tagline is well known to many Arizonans: “Earnhardt -- it's a name you can trust, and that ain't no bull!” -- A slogan stemming from a comment in 1953 when a parade on-looker asked Tex how he “kept that bull so calm.” To that Tex replied, “…this? This ain’t no bull!” From there, a slogan and theme for doing business were born.

It’s true! While kids were marveling at a man on a big horned bovine, adults had an even bigger reason to laugh.

The ad campaign’s inside joke is that the animal star is a steer rather than a bull.  

“While Chisholm was known due to Grandpa’s commercials, he was actually a beloved family pet,” said Nature Earnhardt, Earnhardt’s Media Director. “It wasn’t just the treats in our pockets that made Chisholm happy to see us. He was part of the family.”

When Tex Earnhardt passed away, he left his beloved longhorn in the care of his children and grandchildren. Chisholm retired on their ranch lands to enjoy the remainder of his longhorn days.

Their family-run dealership group -- Earnhardt Auto Centers -- is marking the steer's passing with tributes on their websites and social media.

“Like my Dad, Chisholm was truly one of a kind,” said Jim Babe Earnhardt. “As I told my family, Tex and his buddy are riding the range together once again.”

Source: Earnhardt Auto Centers

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