Michigan wrangler reflects on viral fame from I-75 cow rescue

Ricky Littlejohn
Ricky Littlejohn(WILX)
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 5:19 PM EDT|Updated: May. 25, 2023 at 5:39 PM EDT
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OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. (WILX) - It’s not something you expect to see while driving on the interstate in Metro Detroit.

Drivers on I-75 saw a cow on the freeway Sunday, with a cowboy not too far behind.

Background: Moove over!: State Police help rescue cow on I-75

Ricky Littlejohn received a call Sunday that his wrangling skills were needed. Little did he know, his skills would attract national attention.

“It’s just been everywhere,” Littlejohn said. “’You’re the new I-75 cowboy,’ or ‘You’re the Yellowstone of Michigan!’”

Littlejohn and his fiance, Trinidad Resendez, rescued a runaway cow named Lester on I-75 just outside of Detroit.

“I’ve never ran full speed on a horse at the side of a very busy highway,” said Resendez. “It was actually terrifying.”

It wasn’t Littlejohn’s first rodeo with Lester, as he also caught him about seven weeks prior when he escaped for the first time.

“The last thing you want is for that thing to get hurt,” Littlejohn said.

A week later, Lester escaped again and was 13 miles from home. The owners knew they could trust Littlejohn and his business, RJL Horse Catching, to wrangle Lester once again.

“Catching a cow in the arena is different than catching a cow on the highway,” Resendez said.

RJL has been around for about eight years. They did not expect to become an internet sensation.

“I still catch castles all the time and you might get a few Facebook likes or comments and stuff and it’s turned into thousands and thousands,” Littlejohn said. “We’re just humble country people, you know?”

To Littlejohn, his horses are his family.

“We can’t do our jobs without them,” he said. “We can’t.”

Without the help of his horses and dogs, Lester the cow wouldn’t be back home where he belongs.

If you see a cow on the loose, you know who to reach out to.

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