Events

Houston rodeo’s 2024 trail rides to start Feb. 16

A total of more than 2,000 cowboys and cowgirls are expected to participate in this year’s 11 rodeo trail rides, some of which will travel 100-plus miles to Houston.

This year's Sam Houston Trail Ride included 10 wagons and over 100 people.
Eric Stone/Houston Public Media
The Sam Houston trail ride included 10 wagons and more than 100 people in 2019.

February marks the start of rodeo season in Houston, and as part of a beloved annual tradition later this month, thousands of cowboys and cowgirls will begin making their way to the city while riding horses and wagons in a scene straight out of the Old West.

Eleven trail rides associated with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo will commence starting Feb. 16, the rodeo announced Thursday. A total of more than 2,000 trail riders are expected to participate, and they'll come from rural locations throughout the Southeast Texas region while making overnight stops and traveling more than 100 miles in some cases – with Goliad, the site of an 1836 battle between the Republic of Texas and Mexico, being the most far-flung starting point.

This year's rodeo is scheduled for Feb. 27-March 17 at NRG Park. The trail riders will gather Feb. 23 at Memorial Park, where an awards ceremony will be held at 5 p.m.

The trail ride tradition dates to 1952, when four men traveled from Brenham on horseback to promote the Houston Rodeo, which first was held in 1931.

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Below is a rundown of this year's 11 trail rides, including their names, starting dates and locations and number of participating riders and wagons. More information can be found on the rodeo website, which will include route maps before the start of the trail rides.

MISSION

Year established: 1991

2024 starting date: Feb. 17

Starting location: Goliad

Distance to Houston: 206 miles

Riders: 75

Wagons: 10

NORTHEASTERN

Year established: 1982

2024 starting date: Feb. 18

Starting location: Cheek

Distance to Houston: 111 miles

Riders: 55

Wagons: 9

PRAIRIE VIEW

Year established: 1957

2024 starting date: Feb. 17

Starting location: Hempstead

Distance to Houston: 80 miles

Riders: 300

Wagons: 9

Prairie View Trail Riders as they approach Memorial Park, the end of their 84-mile journey.
Eric Stone/Houston Public Media
Prairie View trail riders approach Memorial Park, the end of their 84-mile journey, in 2019.

SALT GRASS

Year established: 1952

2024 starting date: Feb. 17

Starting location: Cat Spring

Distance to Houston: 105 miles

Riders: 1,000

Wagons: 22

SAM HOUSTON

Year established: 1965

2024 starting date: Feb. 19

Starting location: Montgomery

Distance to Houston: 70 miles

Riders: 50-75

Wagons: 8

SOUTHWEST

Year established: 1993

2024 starting date: Feb. 17

Starting location: Rosenberg

Distance to Houston: 120 miles

Riders: 294

Wagons: 7

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SOUTHWESTERN

Year established: 1973

2024 starting date: Feb. 16

Starting location: West Columbia

Distance to Houston: 100 miles

Riders: 250

Wagons: 11

TEXAS CATTLEMEN'S

Year established: 1985

2024 starting date: Feb. 19

Starting location: Plantersville

Distance to Houston: 60 miles

Riders: 35

Wagons: 3

TEXAS INDEPENDENCE

Year established: 1961

2024 starting date: Feb. 17

Starting location: Hitchcock

Distance to Houston: 75 miles

Riders: 75-200

Wagons: 14

THE SPANISH

Year established: 1961

2024 starting date: Feb. 17

Starting location: Shepherd

Distance to Houston: 109 miles

Riders: 125

Wagons: 9

VALLEY LODGE

Year established: 1959

2024 starting date: Feb. 17

Starting location: Brookshire

Distance to Houston: 75 miles

Riders: 75

Wagons: 4