Trailers to Memorial Park ahead of the Houston Cattle Show and Rodeo on Go Texan Day

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – More than 2,000 trailblazers took to Memorial Park Friday afternoon for the start of the 90th annual Houston Livestock and Rodeo Show.

After a nearly two-year hiatus, racers have traveled from across the state for a race start that officially begins Monday. Organizers say Texas is the only state in the country with a trail like this.

“We have 10 separate trips to and about 2,000 riders in total,” said Kacey White. “They’re from all over Texas. They’ve been riding all week. They’ve been biking since last Sunday, and they’re going to gather here on Memorial Park. Then, (Saturday) morning, they’re going to go downtown. downtown. for the parade.”

Riders come from as far away as Prairie View, West Columbia, Beaumont, Hempstead and Magnolia.

Texas Cattlemen’s Trail Riders were the first to arrive at Memorial Park on Friday. They have been participating in the event for 34 years since it was founded in 1985. The group traveled 60 miles from Magnolia, Texas.

Willie Nelson, Jr., 84, has ridden with trail racers since the 1950s and is the founder of the Texas Cattlemen Trail Racing Team.

This year, he watched from the sidelines as his group was the first to enter the park.

“I started trail riding in 1955, and I’ve been cycling ever since. I didn’t ride this time because age has caught up with me a bit!” he say.

Many of those who go on the trail come by horse and covered wagon and have been going for almost a week.

They were set to spend the night in Memorial Park and kick off the big downtown rodeo parade on Saturday.

Cathy Johnson took her son to the park to witness his first ride.

“It’s great to see people go back and do things all over again,” Johnson said.

“This is typical weather for these poor trail-runners. Every year, it’s cold and rainy. They’re brave and they go in.”

Since the 1950s, the trail-driver event has been a celebration of Western heritage in Texas, White said.

The last ride was in February 2020, a week before the game was officially shut down due to COVID-19.

On Thursday, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo lowered the COVID-19 threat meter from red to orange due to positive cases and a drop in ICU numbers.

The level of orange still signals a significant and unchecked viral load in the area, health experts say.

Unvaccinated people are still urged to social distance and wear masks, especially if they are visiting the rodeo where millions are expected to attend over the next three weeks.

Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. Copyright Registered. Trailers to Memorial Park ahead of the Houston Cattle Show and Rodeo on Go Texan Day

Dais Johnston

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