The Rodeo is in Town!
by Bethany Holub
Houston isn’t all boot and spurs, and horses and cowboys like outsiders might think. Although, one thing we do take pride in, is our city’s most popular event of the year, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
The Houston Stock Show began in April of 1932. It wasn’t until 10 years later that the first entertainer, Gene Autry, took stage. In 1961, the official name of the show was changed to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. In 1966, the home to the HLSR rodeo moved from Sam Houston coliseum to the Astrodome. Elvis Presley set a record for the number of spectators attended in the 1970s. It was reordered over 40,000 people attended, which was five times the number of people the coliseum could hold.
In 1996, the Houston Rodeo celebrated 30 years in the Astrodome. To commemorate this, they invited the king of country music, George Strait, to perform. His performance drew over 62,000 spectators. 7 years later, the first Rodeo was held in the new Reliant Stadium and Reliant Center.
Although most people think of carnival rides, fried foods, and horses; Rodeo Houston contributes to thousands of young people all across the state of Texas. The HLSR scholarship program consists of more than 750 scholarships that total closely to $13 million every year. It also offers the largest livestock show, and sets world records at the junior market show auctions. The junior market auctions reward young Texas 4-H and FFA students for their hard work and dedication. These livestock are judged, and the winners are auctioned off. Most champion animals sell for well over market value, and winning students are guaranteed a certain amount of scholarship money.
An experience you can’t pass up during Rodeo Houston is the professional rodeo events. Some of these events include bull riding, barrel racing, and steer wrestling. Rodeo Houston is an invitational rodeo that offers one of the largest earnings in North America which is over $2 million. The rodeo features around 325 top professional cowboys and cowgirls. It is made up of two different competitions; the Super Series and the Super Shootout. The Super Series is a 19- day tournament style competition and the ultimate champion in each event earns $50,000.
Super shootout is the last day of the rodeo and an invitation-only, winner-take-all event. It is one of the richest one-day rodeos in the country. This day features cut-throat competition from reigning champs of rodeos around North America.
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is one of the most popular events in Houston. They continue to set records every year in attendance, scholarships and rodeo earnings. Get your tickets today and experience it for yourself!