The North Channel Chamber was informed about the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo at their monthly luncheon, last Friday, Feb. 5th.
The speaker from the Rodeo was Al Reese. Reese is a financial advisor with Integrity Growth Group, and a director of Integrity Bank. He has been associated with the Houston Rodeo, its new name, since 1986.
Reese spoke about the history of the Rodeo, economic impact that the Rodeo has on Houston, and the scholarship program for youth.
Last year the Rodeo awarded $25 million in scholarships, to over 700 students in various categories of competition. Scholarships are now $18,000 each student, spread over
a 4 year period. To qualify, you must be attending a Texas High School, and plan to go to a Texas college or university, or community college.
Applications for next year’s scholarships are due Feb. 8th, and Reese urged every student to apply.
The Rodeo has 100 full time employees, and over 32,000 volunteers that work to make the Rodeo a yearly success.
The Houston Rodeo is made up of many different activities, Reese said. These include 13 trail rides, of which the first was in the 1950s. Also, there is a World Champion BBQ competition for 3 days, starting Feb. 26. The public is welcome.
The Rodeo will start March 1st, and continue through March 20. Each night there is a livestock show, rodeo events, and world class entertainment. Popular entertainers this year include Miranda Lamber, Pitbull, and Keith Urban on the last night.
Other activities during the Rodeo include a 5K/10K Fun Run, a parade downtown the Saturday before the opening, a carnival, a wine tasting competition, and the Art auction. Over the years, 200,000 students have entered the art auction.
The Livestock show includes commercial and youth shows, and the grand champion animals are sold at auction. Last year the GC Steer was sold for about $300,000 of which the exhibitor receives a portion for his scholarship and expenses. Reese noted how this has changed over the years, the first GC Steer sold for $500.
Another popular event is the Calf Scramble, where young students attempt to capture calfs running around in the arena. There are 16 calfs, and 16 out of 32 competitors receive $2000 for their efforts.